Cortland Finnegan is entering his first season with the Miami Dolphins after spending the previous two years with the St. Louis Rams, preceded by a six-year stint with the Tennessee Titans. Finnegan, a big, physical cornerback, is known as much for his brash demeanor as he is for his cover skills. He has racked up 18 interceptions and 78 passes defended in his eight-year NFL career.
Early Years & College
Finnegan was born in Fayetteville, N.C., on Feb. 2, 1984. He attended Milton High where he played safety and running back. Finnegan was named first-team All-State, All-Northwest Florida and 3A District Player of the Year as a senior. He amassed 115 tackles and five interceptions in 2001, while starring on the school’s basketball squad. After graduating, Finnegan went to Samford University where he started at safety, registering 338 tackles and nine interceptions in his four-year college career.
The Titans selected Finnegan in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL draft (215th overall). Finnegan flashed signs of promise in his rookie campaign, highlighted by a 92-yard fumble return for a touchdown. In 2007, he started all 16 games and finished with one interception and 95 combined tackles. Finnegan’s breakout season was 2008, when he led the Titans with 20 passes defended and tied for sixth in the NFL with five interceptions, while being named a Pro Bowl starter and notching first-team All-Pro honors. Finnegan is also known for a few ugly on-the-field incidents, including a vicious fist-fight with the Texans’ Andre Johnson in 2010.
St. Louis Rams
Finnegan followed his former head coach in Tennessee, Jeff Fisher, and signed a five-year, $50 million deal with St. Louis. Finnegan, despite a 101-tackle season in 2012, never quite lived up to the hype and the Rams let him walk in March 2014. In two injury-plagued seasons, he registered 128 tackles and four interceptions.
Finnegan is being counted on to provide veteran leadership and a dose of attitude in the defensive secondary for the 2014 Dolphins. He has been working as the team’s first-team cornerback in spring practices and in the early days of training camp.
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