Cortland Finnegan

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Cortland Finnegan

Cortland Temujin Finnegan (born February 2, 1984 in Fayetteville, North Carolina) is a cornerback for the St Louis Rams of the National Football League

Finnegan, the son of Robert Grant and Linda Finnegan, grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, with three years in Korea while his mother served there in the Army. He transferred from Fayetteville's 71st Senior High School to Milton High School in Milton, Florida for his senior season. He played varsity and junior varsity football for the Panthers and was also the starting point guard for the basketball team. He was named to the All-State and All-Northwest Florida teams and was the state's 3A District Player of the Year as a Senior.

Finnegan was recruited to Samford Bulldogs by coach Bill Gray. Wearing #26 he excelled as a kick returner and moved into the starting line-up on defense after the third game of the season. He finished the season with 46 tackles and led the defense with 9 broken-up passes. On special teams he returned 23 kickoffs for 741 yards (32.2 average per return) , including two 95-yard touchdowns against Murray State, for which he was named the NCAA I-AA Special Teams Player of the Week.

As a sophomore, Finnegan led the Ohio Valley Conference with an average of 9.8 tackles per game and returned 21 kicks for a 27.4 yards per return average. He notched 15 yakles and a 51-yard fumble return touchdown against San Diego State and a career-high 20 tackles against Eastern Kentucky. At the end of the season he was named the Ohio Valley Conference's Defensive Player of the Year.

As a junior he again led the team with 86 tackles and intercepted two passes in the season opener against West Alabama and was named to the OVC's first team as a defensive back. As a senior, Finnegan again led the team with 98 tackles and ranked first among punt returners in the conference with a 15.1 yard per return average. His 25.1 yards per kickoff return ranked second in the conference.

Finnegan was the 7th pick of the 7th round (215th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft, going to the Tennessee Titans. He pleaded guilty to driving under the influence over the summer and was sentenced to 20 hours of community service and a 6-month suspension of his license.

He appeared in every game during his rookie season, starting twice on defense against Washington and Philadelphia. He recorded 57 tackles (one for loss), two sacks, three quarterback pressures, seven passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery on defense. He also made 15 tackles and recovered a fumble on special teams.

In 2007 Finnegan started all 16 games for the titans and amassed 95 tackles (1 sack). He returned an interception for 14 yards and defensed 13 passes.

He started the 2008 season with four interceptions in his first three games, returning one 99 yards for a touchdown against the Houston Texans. He was selected to represent the AFC in the 2009 Pro Bowl and was also fined $25,000 for hits that the league deemed unsportsmanlike. He was fined thrice more for unsportsmanlike hits on Steve Smith and Chris Kuper and a fistfight with Andre Johnson in 2010, earning a warning that he could be ejected from the league.

In 2012 Finnegan signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the St Louis Rams, playing again for former Titans coach Jeff Fisher. He returned a Matthew Stafford pass for a touchdown in his first game in a Rams uniform.


  • "NFL fines Finnegan $25K for multiple hits." (December 19, 2008) Associated Press

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