Cortland Finnegan admits his absence was a contract holdout

Give Cortland Finnegan some credit.

The Tennessee Titans cornerback did something a lot of other NFL players would never do. He owned up to not being truthful about his weekend absence from training camp.

Finnegan said Sunday that his brief departure from camp was to attend to a personal matter and insisted that team officials knew he was leaving and why he was leaving. On Monday, Finnegan said that wasn’t the case and apologized to pretty much everyone involved, including media who he directly lied to a day before.

It has been nothing but a distraction to the team that was not needed,’’ Finnegan said, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “When I was talking with my agent, because I wasn’t happy with some of the things said (in contract talks) I let the emotions get the best of me.

“I took the negotiations personally and I shouldn’t have and it affected everyone in the community and the team and I deeply regret that. … Was it right? Absolutely not. I can’t let my team down like that. It won’t happen again.”

Titans coach Mike Munchak said he still intends to fine Finnegan for missing a day. That could cost the player $30,000. The Pro Bowl cornerback is scheduled to earn a little less than $3.8 million this season and the team has been in talks about a new deal for him. Hopefully, talks can remain on track after his brief spat.

“I want to be here,” Finnegan said. “I want to retire here. I am grateful for the opportunity for them to talk to me (about my contract) ahead of time. For them to do that I am very thankful and I hope that didn’t hurt it. I apologize to Mike Reinfeldt and the organization.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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