3 worst free agent signings under Rams GM Les Snead

Les Snead, St. Louis Rams, LA Rams
Les Snead, St. Louis Rams, LA Rams / Michael Thomas/GettyImages
4 of 4

I: DB Cortland Finnegan (2012) - 5 years $50 million

When the Saint Louis Rams hired HC Jeff Fisher, it was clear that Fisher wanted to reunite with players he knew and trusted from his former team, the Tennessee Titans. And Rams GM Les Snead was more than happy to accomodate his head coach.

At the time, the 28-year-old Finnegan has played six seasons with the Tennessee Titans, and had already earned All-Pro honors in 2008. Finnegan was quite popular as a free agent defensive back, but he was so excited to reunite with his former head coach that he cancelled scheduled meetings with other NFL teams.

Finnegan was not necessarily a consensus top target by all NFL teams, as he had a reputation for playing outside of the NFL rules at times. When the Saint Louis Rams HC Jeff Fisher announced the adding Finnegan to the Rams roster, he addressed Finnegan's 'dirty player,' reputation.

"His reputation is widely misunderstood out there from the standpoint of, you know, the dirty player type thing and all that. He's just a very productive player.

He plays with an edge - yeah, he does. He challenges and he competes and he finishes every down."

Rams HC Jeff Fisher

As was the case with Jared Cook discussed earlier, the veteran defensive back seemed to be all that the Rams hoped he might be. The 5-foot-10 190-pound defensive back played in 16 games with 15 starts, recorded a phenomenal 101 tackles, hauled in three interceptions, broke up nine passes, forced one fumble, and even had one pick-six.

But injuries and inconsistent play just one year later quickly soured the deal for the Rams.

He was released two years later.

Shame on the Rams? Hardly. Shame on GM Les Snead? Nothing could be further from the truth. It's far better to have a general manager who takes bold moves.

  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained
  • Fortune favors the bold
  • Lead, Follow, or Get out of my way

So what can we learn from this review? Well, the evidence does point to reasons why the LA Rams favor short-term deals with veterans over long multi-year contracts. Need more proof? Just consider the plight of veteran OLB Von Miller, who had an impressive performance for the LA Rams in 2021, but whose chapter with the Buffalo Bills is anything but impressive.

Perhaps the Rams will lose some free agents by offering one-year prove-it contracts. But from this review, it is sometimes better to miss out of a bad contract than to execute a good one.

Did this review enlighten you as well? Let us know in the comments section of our Facebook page. And as always, thanks for reading.