Cortland Temujin Finnegan (born February 2, 1984) is an American football defensive back for the Saint Louis Rams. He graduated in 2002 from Milton High School in Milton, Florida where he played Varsity and Junior Varsity football, as well as starting at point guard for the basketball team. Finnegan played college football for Samford University.
During his sophomore year, Finnegan was named first-team All-OVC, third-team All-OVC as returner, third-team All-American by Sports Network and earned Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors, while starting every game. Finnegan totaled team and career-high 108 tackles, three tackles for loss, career-high three interceptions, eight passes defensed and two fumble recoveries, and he also returned 21 kickoffs for 577 yards (27.5 avg.) and one touchdown.
As a junior, Cortland Finnegan was named first-team All-OVC, while starting every game at free safety. He led his team with 86 tackles, two tackles for loss, three interceptions (tied career-high), two passes defensed and one fumble forced. Finnegan also returned 11 kickoffs for 286 yards (26.0 avg.).
During his senior year at Samford, Finnegan was named first-team All-American by NFL Draft Report, first-team All-American by American Football Coaches Association and first-team All-OVC for third consecutive year. He started every game at free safety and led team with 98 tackles for third consecutive season and added two tackles for loss, one interception, seven passes defensed, one fumble forced and one fumble recovery. Cortland Finnegan ranked first in OVC conference with 15.1 punt return average, while returning 14 punts for 212 yards and one touchdown. Ranked second in OVC conference with 25.1 kickoff return average on 15 returns for 376 yards. For additional info on Cortland’s career at Samford, click here.
Finnegan was drafted by the Tennessee Titans with the seventh pick of the seventh round (215th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played in all 16 games with two starts (one October 15 at Washington as nickel back and again on November 19 at Philadelphia as left cornerback). Finnegan had 57 tackles, two sacks, three quarterback pressures, one tackle for a loss, seven passes defensed, one forced fumble, and he returned a fumble from David Garrard for a ninety-two yard touchdown during the December 17 game against Jacksonville. He also tied for fourth on the team with 15 special teams tackles with one fumble recovery.
He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for the first time for intercepting two David Garrard passes during his Week 1 performance of the 2008 season.
Finnegan was a pleasant surprise for Tennessee in the 2006-07 season after starting at the beginning of the Titans’ six-game win streak. He has been making plays left and right; most notably his 92 yard fumble return against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, December 17th. It was one of the 3 defensive touchdowns for the Titans in that game — a franchise record. In his NFL debut against the Jets he had a sack and forced fumble.
On December 16, 2008, the National Football League named Finnegan a 2009 Pro Bowl starter alongside Oakland Raiders corner Nnamdi Asomugha. It was Finnegan’s first Pro Bowl selection.
In 2010 Finnegan became a member of School of the Legends (SOTL), an online community and partner of the NFLPA. SOTL’s headquarters are located in Nashville, TN. He also became Titans’ Community Man of the Year due to his fundraising efforts and the establishment of ARCH 31 Foundation for Special Needs Children.
Finnegan signed a five-year, $50 million ($27 million guaranteed) deal with the St. Louis Rams on March 13, 2012. Following his former coach, Jeff Fisher, from the Titans to the Rams. An avid ten-pin bowler, He bowled a near-perfect 299 the day he found out from his agent. In Week 1, his first game with the St. Louis Rams, against the Detroit Lions, Cortland intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass and returned it for a touchdown. For the season he recorded 113 tackles, notching the third 100-plus tackle season of his career.
For Cortland’s complete bio and stats, click here.
The Cortland Finnegan Ark 31 Foundation
“Finnegan Named AFC Defensive Player of the Week”. titansradio.com.