Monday, March 17, 2014

Finnegan's first go-around as agent goes pretty well


New Miami Dolphins cornerback Cortland Finnegan hopes to resurrect a once-promising NFL career this season after two forgettable years as a St. Louis Ram.

But if it doesn't end working out in Miami or anywhere else, Finnegan might have found his next career.

Finnegan elected to negotiate on his own behalf during free agency, going sans agent as he searched for his next destination. The two-year, $11 million contract he ended up signing was somewhat of a head-scratcher for the Dolphins, but a coup for a player that produced some dismal tape during the past two seasons.

It was so bad that the Rams cut Finnegan earlier this month just 23 games into a five-year, $50 million contract. At age 30, with a concerning injury history and sharply declining play on the field, he did well for himself landing a sizable multi-year contract with Miami.

And it seems he enjoyed having the chance to represent himself and feel out other teams, and earn a big payday in the process.

“It was a great experience being that [Miami] was my first visit," Finnegan said recently, via "I spoke with a lot of GMs, head coaches, assistant coaches, defensive back coaches and just got their perspective on what they see as far as dynamics in their room, defenses that they run, all of those questions agents can’t really answer."

The former All-Pro garnered Pro Football Focus' second lowest cumulative grade of all cornerbacks last season in just 367 snaps. He allowed a 76.5 completion percentage and 136.0 passer rating into his coverage in 2013, both figures in the bottom five of 110 qualifying corners.

Finnegan's role with the Dolphins will likely be determined by the development of high 2013 draft selections Will Davis and Jamar Taylor, but he wants to "compete for a starting job" and provide mentorship to Miami's young defensive backfield.

The Dolphins found $11 million worth of value in what he brings to the table, which to an outsider is an impressive bit of salesmanship on Finnegan's part. He won't rule out a career as an agent in the future, but for the time being, he's wisely focused on getting his football-playing career back on track.

“You know I haven’t put [becoming an agent] out of reach right now," he said. "All I’m focused on is helping the Dolphins win, but if someone approaches me after my playing days I think we can make something shake.”

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