NFL Free Agency: Why the Chicago Bears Should Avoid Cortland Finnegan

Michael GibbonsCorrespondent IIMarch 9, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 27:   Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a pass around Cortland Finnegan #31 of the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on November 27, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Cortland Finnegan is arguably the top free-agent cornerback on the market, and the Chicago Bears are in need of a good corner.

However, with that being said, the Bears should stay far away from the former All-Pro Tennessee Titan.

It is unclear if the Bears have any interest in Finnegan, but it is clear that Finnegan has interest in Chicago. He appeared on both of Chicago's sports radio stations on Friday.

Finnegan is on the market because the Titans decided to use the franchise tag on safety Michael Griffin.

Finnegan will probably be asking for a contract much like the one Jonathan Joseph signed with the Bengals last season. Joseph signed a five-year deal worth $48.75 million. That's nearly $10 million per season.

As a point of comparison, Charles "Peanut" Tillman signed a seven-year deal worth $41.5 million back in 2007 with the Bears. That's an average of $6 million a year, but he carries a cap hit of $4,714,285 in 2012 and $9,714,285 in 2013.

While Tillman is a big corner at 6'2", Finnegan is only 5'10". Do the Bears really need a 5'10" corner who just turned 28 who is looking for a big contract?

I say no.

Finnegan also comes with some issues, being fined by the NFL three times including a $25,000 fine for having a fistfight with Andre Johnson.

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Brandon Carr #39 of the Kansas City Chiefs intercepts a pass intended for Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 4, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chiefs defeated the Bears 10-3. (Photo by Jonathan Dan
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Also, it is important to point out that Finnegan isn't particularly fast. Back in 2006 at the NFL Scouting Combine, he ran a 4.54 40-yard dash. While that isn't slow, it isn't very fast and guys usually get slower as they get older.

A much better option, if general manager Phil Emery decides that the Bears need an upgrade over Tim Jennings, would be Brandon Carr.

Carr is set to turn 26 in May and stands at 6'0".

Over the last four seasons, Carr has just five fewer interceptions but has 15 more pass deflections. Also, Carr is expected to sign for much less than Finnegan.

I also feel it should be pointed that, just in case you forgot, Phil Emery used to work for the Kansas City Chiefs when they drafted Carr in the fifth round in 2008.

With Tillman getting older, it would be nice to have a good young corner who could take some of the pressure off of him and eventually take over the top spot.

Personally, I am OK with the Bears bringing back Tim Jennings as the starting corner opposite Tillman. I would much rather see them spend their money on someone like Mario Williams or a couple receivers.

What do you think, should the Bears pursue Finnegan? Sound off below.


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