The best kind of report is the conflicting kind, when one noted insider reports the opposite of another noted insider, all within less than an hour. Rejoice, folks, free agency is almost here.
This year’s cornerback market is quickly being drained after Brent Grimes and Dashon Goldson were quite predictably (oh, and reportedly…always reportedly) slapped with the franchise tag earlier today. Then we heard from NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, who tacked on a surprising detail to a tweet regarding titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan.
In fairness, La Canfora used the word “likely,” which I will now utilize in daily life while procrastinating (i.e. I’m likely to take out the garbage later). It provides an out clause for a report that’s seemed highly unlikely for weeks.
Then came word from our other NFL oracle, Adam Schefter, who told us what we wanted/expected to hear.
So we know one thing for sure: Finnegan may or may not be tagged by Monday.
Team Schefter was supported by several other trusted scribes including Jim Wyatt, the Titans’ main beat writer. Wyatt said that nothing’s changed on the Finnegan front, with no long-term deal planned, and the franchise tag hasn’t been discussed either.
And that’s good, because while Finnegan is talented in coverage and his feisty explosions are annoying yet tolerable, if he’s not viewed as a long-term player in Tennessee, then the franchise tag will be crippling. The Titans have plenty of room against the cap with over $20 million to work with, but half of that would be quickly eaten by Finnegan, with the cornerback franchise tag estimated at $10 million.
An elite cornerback is highly valuable, but Finnegan doesn’t quite fit that label. Still, if he does indeed become a free agent then he’ll be close behind Brandon Carr in the top tier of free agents at the position, with the Cowboys and Redskins likely to show interest, in addition to the Chiefs if Carr isn’t either re-signed or tagged.