There’s a reason why Cortland Finnegan was released by the St. Louis Rams and not gobbled up in free agency like he was two years ago. Then he was a top-10 NFL cornerback looking for a big payday in free agency, which he got. Naturally, the Rams let him go when he stopped playing like a man who deserved $10 million per year, but now the Miami Dolphins think they can do with Finnegan what they did with Brent Grimes. Put simply, they’re wrong.
That’s not to say Finnegan won’t start playing better now that he has to prove himself again as a legit NFL coverage man. However, coming off an eye injury at age 30 that caused him to miss over half the 2013 season isn’t promising. Of course, Grimes was coming off a torn Achilles tendon when the Dolphins signed him and that turned out well, but he didn’t have a history like Finnegan’s.
Miami just got over an absolutely bizarre and embarrassing situation with Richie Incognito, who is now in the looney bin, and Jonathan Martin, who was just traded to the San Francisco 49ers. The last thing the Dolphins need is someone who might ruffle feathers…and that’s exactly what Finnegan does.
That’s not to say that he’s going to immediately be a cancer in the Dolphins’ locker room, but regardless of how he fits in their secondary in 2014, he’s not an ideal signing for a team that needs nothing but leaders and players with great character to salvage a relatively talented roster. Finnegan could turn out to be a free agency steal, but you shouldn’t count on that.