One player that was expected to get released this offseason by the St. Louis Rams was cornerback Cortland Finnegan. That however, may not be the case anymore. Both Jeff Fisher and Les Snead talked to the media Friday at the combine and both discussed Finnegan.
He overcame a difficult situation,” Fisher said. “I understand he’s healthy now. And so we expect him back in the offseason program.”
“Cortland’s had a great career,” Snead said. “He had an injured eye last year, really a broken eye. I don’t know if you can break your eye (but) he continued to play through that, and it was causing him some issues with headaches and vision.
“First of all, get him healthy and then with Gregg (Williams) coming in (as defensive coordinator) figure out where we all fit. In this league, corners that can go inside and play nickel, you can’t have enough of those people.”
Finnegan had the worst season in his career by far and as of yet, hasn’t fully lived up to his big contract. Just another player that hasn’t lived up to their contract for the Rams, what’s new?
Finnegan has been said to have looked slow in training camp last season and it looked like his best days were behind him, however one thing that Snead mentioned that many forget, is that the Rams hired former Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and that could really help out Finnegan.
It wasn’t just Finnegan who struggled in the secondary last year, it was the entire secondary. Tim Walton played some questionable coverages and that lead to teams being able to throw the ball with ease against the Rams.
That won’t be the case with Williams. Unlike Walton, Williams has experience in the NFL and has experience with coach Fisher which will have a huge impact on the defense.
Williams has never coached Finnegan, but he was one of the reasons for Alterraun Vernor’s success last season and has coached up many cornerback’s in the league.
In New Orleans, Tracy Porter who caught the game sealing interception in the Super Bowl, was one of the team’s best cornerback’s that season. After Williams’ departure, Porter has been invisible and was let go by the Saints in 2011, spent one year in Denver, and is now on his third team at the age of 27 in Oakland.
Williams plays the same style of defense that made Finnegan so successful in Tennessee. With a stable defensive coordinator in place, Finnegan may just be one of many players to improve in 2014.
Finnegan may be old, but he is healthy again, which will make a big difference. However, just because he is healthy again and Fisher and Snead have said he is safe, his leash is definitely short.
Finnegan is one of the few veteran’s in a locker room that contains a plethora of young players. He brings veteran leadership as wells guidance to the young guys trying to make their mark in the league.
It doesn’t look like the Rams are going to release Finnegan, at least not now. If they do it will be during cuts in training camp, for the time being he will remain on the roster, just hopefully at a cheaper price to free up some cap space, it just doesn’t makes any sense to pay him $10-million.
Fisher has been loyal to his guys which can sometimes be a good thing, but it can also come back to hurt you, let’s just hope that isn’t the case with Finnegan and the addition of Williams helps resurrect the once shut down corner’s career.