The best free agent on the market heading into NFL training camps could be Jermichael Finley. The former Green Bay Packers tight end is recovering from a devastating neck injury he suffered last season, but if he can return to form, he'll be a steal for whatever team signs him.
Two teams not desperately in need of a TE are the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers. ESPN's Adam Schefter said on NFL Live Tuesday that Finley will undergo further neck testing this Wednesday, and the 49ers are showing interest in him.
The Steelers have taken it a step further, offering Finley a contract, according to USA Today Sports.
"Pittsburgh have showed me a couple deals, but we all know the money ain't what it's supposed to be," said Finley, who has 223 career catches for 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns. "If I quit the game right now, I can take tax-free money, and that's a difficult thing that I'm going through with myself …"
Pitt has Heath Miller, but the 10-year pro is nearing the end of the road, and having Finley next to him would make the Steelers offense even more dangerous.
As for the 49ers, They've got the All-Pro Vernon Davis with Vance McDonald waiting in the wings. It's hard to see them making a hard push for Finley.
But Finley also has visited the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks and said he has received interest from other teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose team neurosurgeon, Dr. Joseph Maroon, performed Finley's surgery in November and cleared him in May.
Teams are still leery about signing Finley, who had his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae fused a month after suffering a spinal contusion Oct. 20 on a hit by Cleveland Browns safety Tashaun Gipson. He can file a claim to collect the insurance policy one year to the day after the injury if he hasn't played in four games.