Panthers sign veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers on Monday signed veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who in March announced he was retiring.

Finnegan, a 2008 Pro Bowl selection, worked out Friday with the Panthers (11-0), who are expected to be without 34-year-old starter Charles Tillman for at least a couple more games as he recovers from a sprained knee.

The Panthers were down to one backup corner, Teddy Williams, with Tillman having missed the past two games. They have been starting Bene' Benwikere as the every-down corner opposite Josh Norman.

Benwikere was the starting nickel back before Tillman's injury.

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said Finnegan would start out battling Colin Jones for playing time at nickel back.

That would leave Benwikere as the every down corner until Tillman returns.

"Anytime you can add a guy of Finnegan's experience at this point in the year you're excited about it,'' McDermott said. "He plays our style of football -- an aggressive, up tempo, attacking type of football.''

McDermott said how much Finnegan plays this week at New Orleans depends on how much he picks up in practice.

"I just know on the field, love his style of play," McDermott said. "An aggressive nature, so that fits a lot what we do and how we play. That's all we know right now. It's a day-to-day thing."

Many will remember the 31-year-old Finnegan for being ejected after a fight with then-Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson in 2010. Finnegan, then with the Tennessee Titans, and Johnson were each fined $25,000 by the NFL.

Finnegan has 18 career interceptions, including five each in 2008 and 2009 with the Titans. He started 12 games last season for Miami

When he announced his retirement, Finnegan wrote on Instagram: "Spent 9 years doing something I Loved and it has [paid] off in so many ways. To say I have been blessed is an understatement I am forever thankful. I have made my share of mistakes and had moments of glory. I even got into a fight in an NFL Game (he hits like a bish). I'm thankful for the friends I made on and off the field love yAll.. Time to move on and enjoy new people new places and new ideas. I forgot to thank all the haters I love yAll to."