by Terry McCormick
February 23, 02012
INDIANAPOLIS _ Tennessee Titans general manager Ruston Webster will meet with the agent for cornerback Cortland Finnegan here at the NFL Combine.
The Titans and Finnegan remain far apart on a contract extension, with Finnegan's camp believed to be wanting a deal worth more than $50 million in total value, and the Titans having last offered a deal with a total package of $28 million, per TitanInsider.com.
Webster is hoping that this week's face-to-face talks can perhaps lead to a breakthrough, rather than a breakdown of talks with Finnegan.
“Right now, we're working through all that, not only with Cortland, but with several other guys. At this point, I expect them to all be on the roster next year, but we're still working on that,” Webster said.
In terms of how to bridge a gap that is so far apart, Webster said, “You just keep working at it and kind of hope something breaks. You keep working at it and see what happens.”
Still, the Titans have considered what life might be like without Finnegan in the secondary. It would mean finding help in free agency or the draft or relying on unproven youngsters like Chris Hawkins and Tommie Campbell for more than special teams.
“I think we feel comfortable with young guys. You never really know how they're going to develop until they get this opportunity,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “If we don't get Cortland signed, obviously we have other ways of looking at the draft. But we feel comfortable with those guys, especially the way Hawkins came in and played last year as an undrafted free agent.
“He came in in the New Orleans game and the games at the end of the season. He came in and played well. That was very encouraging. But if we lose someone like Cortland Finnegan, that's a tough loss for any team. We do have some young guys that could step up and we could always look in free agency and the draft if we're not comfortable.”
Webster, too, admitted that it would be tough if the Titans lost Finnegan and safety Michael Griffin, who is also a free agent.
"It would make it difficult if we lost them both. They're good players," he said.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com