Former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley has officially retired from the NFL, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). As Schefter observes, the news doesn’t come as a surprise, given Finley’s injury history and the fact that there had been no word on his comeback attempt since 2014.
Finley, 28, was selected in the third round of the 2008 draft by the Packers, and spent the next six seasons with the team. During that stretch, Finley was frequently targeted by Aaron Rodgers, racking up 223 receptions for 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns. Finley’s best year came in 2011, when he established career highs with 767 yards and eight TDs.
However, a 2013 neck injury derailed Finley’s career, and forced him into early retirement. About a year ago, we heard that the tight end had working out for five hours a day in the hopes of signing with an NFL team at some point. At that time though, despite showing progress through a series of MRIs and CAT scans, Finley wasn’t considered likely to return to the field.
Instead, the ex-Packer was moving forward to collect a $10MM insurance policy that he had filed in case of a career-ending injury. As Rand Getlin detailed in August 2014, it wasn’t as simple as Finley filing the claim and being handed $10MM, since at least one doctor medically cleared the tight end to return to action — that meant that the insurance company could argue the injury sustained by Finley wasn’t career-ending.
It’s not clear whether Finley has collected some or all of that insurance policy in the past year, but assuming the process is still ongoing, the fact that he has officially retired from the NFL should help move things forward.