Coming from a “Titan fan” perspective, I respect and understand the holdout of Chris Johnson and the negotiations with the Tennessee Titans. Chris Johnson has outplayed his contract and wants to lock up long term some big dollars. To the Titans credit, they increased Johnson’s contract last year to increase his guaranteed money and all they ask that he returns to camp and they will work out a deal.
However Cortland Finnegan leaving Titans training camp is not necessary and uncalled for. Finnegan is set to earn 3.8 million this season and based on his performance last season and beat down for Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson, his salary is fair and needs to play out the final year of his contract.
It’s another headache for the Titans, who were already a week into running back Chris Johnson’s holdout. Here are some quotes from Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt and Titans coach Mike Munchak
“I don’t think it is a mess. It is a little distracting,’’ Reinfeldt said. “I think the important thing is our guys are under contract. Usually you have holdouts on guys that have not signed contracts, draft picks, franchise guys. These guys have contracts. But we’ll get through it and it is part of the NFL season.”
Finnegan’s decision caught him off-guard, and it won’t help the sixth-year pro get a new deal.
“Disappointed is probably the easiest word. It is not something we expected,’’ Munchak said. “You obviously want your best players here, and you want them to be your leaders. So it is unfortunate whatever is going on, that is as much as I am going to say about it. We expected him to be here when we woke up and be a part of practice, and he decided not to be and we had to go on from there.”
“It is disappointing because in the last two weeks I think we have signed 34 guys. I talked to him, Coach Munchak did, we told him to be patient, and we made an offer and he made a counter offer. That’s kind of the way it works. So yeah, it is disappointing,’’ Reinfeldt said.
“In the past we have extended young players. We extended Cortland after his first two years. The intent was to sit down with his agent and talk. … He will be a free agent the end of the year. If you can find a contract extension that makes sense for both sides you do it, but if not, making $3.8 million is not the end of the world either.”
Finnegan has one year remaining on his contact and is scheduled to make $3.793 million this season. He signed a contract extension in 2008 worth $18.5 million with $8.5 million in guarantees. The Titans have already paid him in the past and deserve more respect from Finnegan; this isn’t a Desean Jackson or even teammate Chris Johnson wanting on his first serious NFL payday, Finnegan has gotten his already and needs to get back to the practice field.