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CB Finnegan, G Smith sign with Dolphins
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Representing himself in contract talks, the eight-year veteran found a new home after an injury-plagued 2013 with the St. Louis Rams. Finnegan, who has no agent, said he spoke with a lot of general managers and head coaches around the NFL, but his only free-agent visit was to Miami.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “If I was like four years in the league, it would be cool to have an agent. The older you, you can understand where your market value is.”
Smith reinforces a troubled offensive line that gave up a franchise-record 58 sacks last year. Four of the five starters have departed, including tackle Jonathan Martin and guard Richie Incognito, who were involved in the team’s bullying scandal.
Finnegan, who was an All-Pro in 2008, started only five games last year, when he was sidelined by a hamstring injury and then an eye injury that required surgery. The Rams signed him to a $50 million, five-year contract in 2012 but recently released him, his career in apparent in decline.
“You can never know how much a guy has left in the tank if he’s injured,” Finnegan said. “I was injured most of the year. Now it’s a clean slate. I’m on a new team with great coaches, and I’ve got to let my play do the talking.”
“I play with an edge, and I’ve learned to control that throughout the years,” he said. “At the same time, I want to bring that same tenacity and spunk and everything I had that maybe I was missing. A lot of people said something was missing, and maybe that’s what it was. You don’t want to hurt the team, but you want to play with the edge that got you where you’re at.”
“He has been a tough playmaker over his career, with a veteran presence and leadership and love and passion for the game,” Hickey said.
Finnegan is expected to complete for playing time with Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, who saw little action as rookies last season. The Dolphins are looking for a starter opposite Brent Grimes, a Pro Bowl cornerback re-signed last week to a $32 million, four-year deal.
Grimes and Finnegan are both 5-foot-10.
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