NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a pass around Cortland Finnegan #31 of the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on November 27, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Because of his connection to Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and new defensive assistant Marcus Robertson, it's worth keeping an eye on what is going on with cornerback Cortland Finnegan. He is set to become a free agent next month, and all signs this offseason have pointed to the Tennessee Titans not bringing him back. That still appears to be the likely scenario based on this report from the The Tennessean on Monday:
And while the two sides did have a conversation on Friday – their first regarding a contract since last offseason – no numbers were discussed. The two sides are believed to still be far apart.
Although it does look like Finnegan will become a free agent, it seems highly unlikely that he will be a legitimate option for the Lions, even though one report has suggested they are interested in him. The connections and need for help in the secondary make him an intriguing target, but his salary demands likely far exceed what the Lions can afford or should pay for a player like him, as evidenced by what his agent had to say earlier this week.
Watson declined to discuss numbers, but Finnegan is seeking a deal greater than the five-year, $48.75 million contract cornerback Johnathan Joseph signed with the Texans last July. That deal included $23.5 million in guarantees.
When asked what kind of deal Finnegan is looking for, Watson would only say, "one that makes him one of the top paid cornerbacks in the NFL."
If Finnegan insists on being paid a contract like that, a lot of teams are probably going to look in a different direction. That's especially the case for the Lions, in my view. Finnegan may be a good player, but the Lions don't have the room to sign him or anybody to a deal like what Joseph got last year. Besides, if they could, chances are they would have made a bigger run at signing Joseph last summer. I just don't see the value in Finnegan if that is the type of deal he is after.