Following the arrest of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in relation to a homicide investigation in Massachusetts and subsequent release from the team, former Packers safety LeRoy Butler suggested on Twitter that the Patriots should trade for Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.
Finley is in the final year of a two-year contract signed with the Packers before the 2012 season.
In addition to Hernandez, the Patriots face uncertainty at the tight end position with All-Pro Rob Gronkowski recently undergoing back surgery and his status in question for the start of the 2013 season.
The Patriots do have other options at tight end, including Jake Ballard, but none as accomplished as Finley.
Finley has gained a reputation as a ultra-talented tight end who’s been productive when healthy, but unable to become an elite player in the NFL mainly due to inconsistency.
While the Packers might like to receive compensation immediately instead of getting delayed compensation if Finley were to leave via free agency, it would seem unlikely Green Bay would be interested in trading Finley at this point in time.
Finley is the only tight end currently on the Packers roster who has demonstrated an ability to stretch the field and be a playmaker in the passing game.
With approximately $13 million in salary cap space available to spend either this season or roll over to next season, it’s also possible the Packers could choose to offer Finley a contract extension.
Not unlike Finley, Butler has a history of being outspoken on social media with suggestions that include (but are not limited to) signing Aaron Rodgers to a contract extension about a year ahead of time and the Packers wanting Charles Woodson back following the NFL Draft.