The Tennessee Titans talked contract with cornerback Cortland Finnegan on Friday, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. It was the first time the two sides have talked since before the 2011 season started. However, it might be too little, too late for Tennessee to keep their top corner from hitting the free agent market where the St. Louis Rams are expected to woo him.
Wyatt adds that Finnegan and the Titans are still far apart on a deal. He also believes that the Titans are unwilling to pay him the $10.6 million salary he would receive if they used the franchise tag to keep Finnegan.
That should be good news for Jeff Fisher and the Rams who have already been linked to Finnegan once he hits the open market. A year ago, cornerback would have been a much lower priority for the Rams, but that was before one starting corner, Bradley Fletcher, tore his ACL again and the other starter, Ron Bartell, broke the vertebrae in his neck.
Bartell has one year left on his contract at more than $6 million. It could make him a cap casualty with a new regime in town. That might depend on the status of Fletcher and third cornerback Jerome Murphy, who also spent the season on injured reserve.
Monday, Feb. 20, is the first day teams can apply the franchise tag to their free agent players.