Titans CB Cortland Finnegan's time in the Music City is over, he confirmed to PFW correspondent Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. Tennessee chose to slap the franchise tag on Finnegan's partner in the defensive backfield, S Michael Griffin, rather than Finnegan.
“The Titans told us they were not going to offer us a deal this year, so that is pretty black and white to me," Finnegan said. "They didn’t franchise me. So this is all on the Titans; there is nothing that we could decline and say no to. It just baffles me that we never got anything from them. I don’t know what I did to turn them off on me. I felt I did everything I could do.”
A seventh-round pick out of Samford, Finnegan added that he is grateful for the opportunity that he was given in Tennessee.
“It is bittersweet,” Finnegan said. “For six years I played in the Titans organization. I am grateful and humbled that the Titans took a chance on me and the way they matured me over the years."
Finnegan started all but three games over the past five seasons for Tennessee. During his six seasons with the Titans, he posted 70-plus tackles five times and finished with 10 or more passes defensed four times. After recording a career-high 100 tackles in 2010, he slipped to 75 tackles in 2011, with 11 passes defensed and just one interception.
“It is going to be hard, a tough thing, not seeing that No. 31 jersey out there,” Griffin said. “It is going to take a team effort to replace what he has brought to the table.”
The team tried to work out a new deal with Finnegan last August, but their four-year, $28 million offer was soundly rebuffed, as Finnegan left training camp for a day. At the time, Wyatt reports that Finnegan's agent was looking for a deal that would exceed the five-year, $48.5 million contract CB Johnathan Joseph signed with the Texans. Standing so far apart, Finnegan never got another offer, and is now likely to depart.
His agent, Terry Watson, expressed little doubt to The Tennessean over how his client would fare in free agency:
“Without question he is going to be one of the very hottest free agents on the market. How can he not be?”