Finnegan’s release could be considered a cap-related move, but it’s also apparent that his performance took a nosedive towards the end of his career. Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) placed Finnegan 109th out of 110 qualified corners in 2013 with a grade of -19.7 in just seven games.
Because of that, many were surprised when Miami inked the former Ram to a two-year, $11MM deal last offseason. Finnegan was a little better for the Dolphins, but still placed just 74th out of 108 corners, with a -4.4 grade in 2014, per PFF. By cutting Finnegan, the Dolphins removed his $5.45MM base salary and a $25K workout bonus from their books for 2015, reducing his $6.475MM cap hit to just $1MM in dead money.
At one time, Finnegan was considered a very solid cornerback in the NFL and PFF’s numbers reflect that as he was rated the No. 2 CB in the NFL in 2012 with a +18.0 grade. Of course, the biggest part of his legacy for many will be his altercation with Andre Johnson in 2010 in which the wide receiver got the better of him — unsurprisingly, it sounds like Finnegan doesn’t see it that way, as he alludes to the incident in his Instagram announcement.