Jermichael Finley had a mystery free agency visit on Friday after being cleared to play by a doctor after a neck injury threatened his career.
Finley has received clearance from Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Pittsburgh neurosurgeon performed the fusion of the C3-C4 vertebrates in Finley’s spine following a spinal cord contusion suffered during the 2013 season and with the Raiders lack of a veteran tight end along with general manager Reggie McKenzie’s ties to the Packers organization there were theories out there that the mystery team could have been Oakland.
That was not the case as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed to JBB via Twitter that Oakland was not the NFL city that Finley visited on Friday, ruling out McKenzie and the Raiders as the potential and still unnamed suitor of the former Packer.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 1, 2014
Finley clearly has a red flag attached to him thanks to his neck injury and the fact that a team’s doctors would have to clear Finley before allowing him to join the team, an issue that stopped the Raiders from signing Rodger Saffold who the team’s medical staff of doctors deemed too injured to sign during free agency. Already up there in terms of age, Finley will need a team to take a chance on him to make his goal of a healthy NFL return a reality and it looks like there is only one suitor at the moment even if nobody is spilling the beans on what team that is.
As for the Raiders their tight end roles look likely to be filled by David Ausberry who spent time on the IR in 2013 and promising rookie Mychal Rivera with the outside chance of project cracking the 53 man roster as a third tight end. While none of the three are household names at this point in their careers that is more than enough depth for the Raiders to not have to take a chance on a player who may never be able to return to what he once was after a serious neck injury. McKenzie and Finley could have a relationship dating back to Green Bay that could leave the door open down the road should the “mystery team” decide not to take a chance on him, but for now any narratives of Finley pairing up with a team that has connections with the Packers can be put to bed.