The St. Louis Rams have not released cornerback Cortland Finnegan yet but the day is coming soon as the team informed him Wednesday. Whether Finnegan returns to the Rams or not in 2014 remains to be seen but the pending move should come as no surprise to anyone paying even a little bit of attention.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher expressed optimism that the team would bring Finnegan back at last month's NFL scouting combine but what was left unsaid at the time was how much the team would be paying him if he did return. Either way, it was pretty obvious the Rams weren't going to bring Finnegan back at his scheduled $10 million cap hit in 2014.
Put simply, Finnegan never performed like the $50 million corner the team signed him to be. He got off to a hot start as a Ram, posting interceptions in his first three games with the team. From there, Finnegan's first two years in St. Louis were marred by injury and a lack of productivity.
Toward the end of the 2012 season, Finnegan battled a hamstring injury which limited him to a nickel corner role. He appeared to get past it but looked like he had lost a step early in 2013 before a fractured orbital bone ended his season after seven games in which he struggled mightily.
In two seasons with the Rams, Finnegan played 23 games with 128 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and four interceptions.
It's possible that the door hasn't completely closed on Finnegan's time in St. Louis. He was a valuable piece of the locker room, not only for the young corners but for the young team as a whole. He and Fisher are tight and it remains possible the two sides could work out an agreement if that's the result they want.
But for a young team that has devoted itself to bringing along young players and giving them opportunities to succeed, there's simply no room for a $10 million veteran corner who never provided the return on investment that Fisher once hoped.