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CB Cortland Finnegan Says He Likely Won’t Be Back in 2012

Though the Titans remain alive in the AFC playoff hunt, cornerback Cortland Finnegan believes that next week could be his final home game as a member of the team, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports.

“The last home game (next week) is going to be emotional for me because that could very well be the last time I put on a powder blue uniform,” Finnegan said. “It is finally starting to hit home that this is a business.”

Finnegan, who turns in 28 in February, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in March after his current three-year, $15.4 million extension from 2008 expires.

A 2006 seventh-round pick out of Samford, Finnegan became a full-time starter in 2007 and received his multi-year extension during the training camp before a 2008 season where he picked off five passes, returning one 99 yards for a touchdown, and went to the Pro Bowl. Finnegan had another five interceptions in 2009 and three interceptions and 19 passes defensed in 29 games over the 2010-11 seasons.

Finnegan expressed his displeasure with his contract situation in August, briefly leaving training camp. Still his teammates named him a team captain before the season and he was named the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year for a second straight season, which makes his comments about his own contract situation during a time where the team is trying to make the post-season all the more surprising.

Including Finnegan, three of the four starters in the current secondary, and all but one safety (Robert Johnson, signed off the practice squad this season), are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in 2012. Playing in a division with the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, three good cornerbacks are a must, so re-signing Finnegan is surely something the Titans, who are expected to have over $30 million in cap space in 2012, would like to do.

Franchising Finnegan, at an estimated cost of between $10.4 and $10.8 million in guaranteed base salary in 2012, is another option, though an unappealing one from Finnegan’s perspective.

“I would be very upset with that. Very upset,” Finnegan said of the franchise tag. “I want to retire here. This is where I started. At the end of the day, if I am not here, there are no hard feelings.”

What would be so wrong with playing under the franchise tag? Recent long-term contracts signed by cornerbacks Stanford Routt, Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph have included Year One cash payouts of between $14 and $15 million, with guaranteed amounts exceeding that.

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One Response to “CB Cortland Finnegan Says He Likely Won’t Be Back in 2012”

  1. […] HERE to read more about Finnegan and his thoughts about moving on from the Titans after the 2011 […]

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