Veteran CB Finnegan signs with Dolphins - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Veteran CB Finnegan signs with Dolphins

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By STEVEN WINE

AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP) -- Veteran cornerback and rookie negotiator Cortland Finnegan sealed a deal Friday with the Miami Dolphins.

Representing himself in contract talks because he has no agent, the eight-year veteran found a new home after an injury-plagued 2013 with the St. Louis Rams. Finnegan said he spoke with a lot of general managers and head coaches around the NFL, but his only free-agent visit was to Miami.

"It was a great experience," he said. "If I was like four years in the league, it would be cool to have an agent. The older you, you can understand where your market value is."

Free agent guard Shelley Smith also visited the Dolphins on Friday. Last year he appeared in 14 games with the Rams, starting two.

Finnegan, who was an All-Pro in 2008, started only five games last year, when he was sidelined by a hamstring injury and then an eye injury that required surgery. The Rams signed him to a $50 million, five-year contract in 2012 but recently released him, his career in apparent in decline.

"You can never know how much a guy has left in the tank if he's injured," Finnegan said. "I was injured most of the year. Now it's a clean slate. I'm on a new team with great coaches, and I've got to let my play do the talking."

Finnegan is expected to complete for playing time with Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, who saw little action as rookies last season. The Dolphins are looking for a starter opposite Brent Grimes, a Pro Bowl cornerback re-signed last week to a $32 million, four-year deal.

"Grimes is one of the best in the NFL, in my opinion, if not the best," Finnegan said. "I'm excited to play with him and learn from him."

Grimes and Finnegan are both 5-foot-10.

Finnegan, a former seventh-round draft pick, spent his first six NFL seasons with Tennessee. He has 18 career interceptions, with four returned for touchdowns.

"He has been a tough playmaker over his career, with a veteran presence and leadership and love and passion for the game," general manager Dennis Hickey said.

Sometimes officials find Finnegan's passion excessive. He has a reputation for talking trash and drawing penalties and fines.

"I play with an edge, and I've learned to control that throughout the years," he said. "At the same time, I want to bring that same tenacity and spunk and everything I had that maybe I was missing. A lot of people said something was missing, and maybe that's what it was. You don't want to hurt the team, but you want to play with the edge that got you where you're at."

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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