Exactly what is Cortland Finnegan worth?
To the Titans, and on the open market if he gets there.
To date, the Titans have yet to open any formal talks with the cornerback's agent Terry Watson. In fact, Tennessee may be sending a message of sorts by scheduling a Tuesday visit with Oakland Raiders castoff Stanford Routt, who was released on Thursday.
If Finnegan gets to the free agent market, he should be at or near the top of the free agent cornerback class of 2012 along with Routt, Atlanta's Brett Grimes, San Francisco's Carlos Rogers and Brandon Carr of Kansas City.
If the Titans decided to franchise Finnegan, it would cost them $10.6 million for the 2012 season.
From what TitanInsider has been able to gather, that is somewhere in the range of a starting point Finnegan's camp might be looking for in an extension.
An offer of $8-$9 million a season from the Titans is not what Finnegan is likely willing to accept in a new contract's average from the Titans. Also, there probably won't be much of a hometown discount, if any, afforded to the Titans, given that free agency is now just about a month away and there have been virtually no talks whatsoever.
The starting point is probably going to have to be somewhere around $9.5 million a season regarding the going rate for top-tier cornerbacks, which Finnegan is considered to be.
Despite occasional lapses in judgment, Finnegan is a proven commodity. Has he played up to the level that he did when he burst into stardom in 2007 and 2008? Most of the time, probably not. But remember, the Titans also had Kyle Vanden Bosch and Albert Haynesworth at the top of their game at the time then as well.
Speaking of Vanden Bosch, it is certainly a possibility that if Finnegan escapes the Titans' grasp that KVB's new team, the Detroit Lions, are likely to become a serious player for his services.
The Titans do want to bring Finnegan back, from what sources tell me, and I have been told that Tennessee would like to have two or three of the defensive backs who are headed to free agency come back to the team. Jordan Babineaux is one of those, as negotiations are already under way on an extension for him.
But how much the Titans are willing to pay to re-up Finnegan could be far less than what the cornerback is seeking, and how serious they are in their pursuit of Routt next week will tell Finnegan all he needs to know about his future in Tennessee.