NFL Free Agency 2014: Dolphins Cortland Finnegan press conference

Cornerback Cortland Finnegan signs with the Miami Dolphins as team General Manager Dennis Hickey looks on. - Photo courtesy Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins signed free agent cornerback Cortland Finnegan this week. After joining the club, Finnegan met with the South Florida media. Here's a transcript of that press conference:

Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey introduction - "I appreciate you guys are coming in on such short notice. We are really excited to add the addition of Cortland Finnegan to our secondary that we recently added Brent Grimes, re-signing him, signing Louis Delmas. (I am) really excited with Cortland Finnegan, what he's going to bring to the table. He's been a tough playmaker over his career with veteran presence, leadership and a love and passion for the game. That's what we are all about. We had a great visit with him this morning, a chance to interact with him, to interact with our coaches and to interact with our players. We couldn't be happier to add him and sign him on the dotted line this afternoon. (We're) just excited not only to add him to our team but to our community and be part of the Miami Dolphins. With that, I introduce Cortland Finnegan."

Cortland Finnegan:
(On representing himself as his own agent) - "It was a great experience being that this was my first visit. I spoke with a lot of GMs, head coaches, assistant coaches, defensive back coaches and just got their perspective on what they see as far as dynamics in their room, defenses that they run, all of those questions agents can't really answer. I guess at this point it's kind of cool if I were four years into the league it would be cool to have an agent, but the older you get I think you can understand where market value is, where everything is, put everything in perspective and go just help a football team win and try to make it as black-and-white as possible mentoring younger guys but also just learning how to play the game because you have great coaching."

(On if he thinks being an agent is in his future) - "You know I haven't put it out of reach right now. All I'm focused on is helping the Dolphins win, but if someone approaches me after my playing days I think we can make something shake."

(On what he sees his role on the Dolphins being) - "I think first and foremost I have to earn the respect of these men not by what I did in the past but how I'm working now. It starts in the locker room, in the weight room and on the field. I know they have younger talent here, so you know just trying to mentor them and try to take my experience of film study and things of those nature along with the coaches and trying to intertwine that into making them into the best players because the younger guys are the future of this organization. Just also learning from Brent (Grimes), I think Grimes is one of the best in the NFL in my opinion, if not the best, at all-around. I'm excited to play with him and learn from him. I couldn't be more excited about this whole opportunity, the coaching staff and this organization. I'm excited."

(On if he thinks he'll have the chance to be a starter) - "You know what, I'm going to work. Nothing has ever been given to me and I don't want it, I want to come in and compete for any job of that magnitude. That's what I'm coming in for, I'm coming in to compete and I hope the younger guys are coming in to compete and to take (Brent) Grimes and my position or as if they have a position. May the best man win, but I'm coming in and I want to compete for a starting job."

(On if he's healthy and if he will be ready and healthy for OTAs) - "I sure hope so (laughing) or darn near close to 110%. That's just working out the fine tune kinks and everything, but I feel great, getting the body back right. I'm getting my bedroom body back, so you all just watch out."

(On how he would respond to previous criticism of his on the field actions) - "Well I mean, again you can never know how much is left in the tank if you're injured, that's always one thing. I can make no excuses for my play last year when I was on the field at times I played good, at times I didn't. I was injured most of the year, so that didn't help out my cause of proving to myself or anybody. So now it's a clean slate, I'm on a new team with great coaches and I have to let my play do the talking. I really can't say anything to you magical to make you believe anything that I'm going to do other than go out there and prove it."

(On if he talked to Coach Philbin about past fines and off the field issues) - "No I didn't. I play with an edge and I've learned to control that throughout the years if you've looked with the fines going down. At the same time, I want to bring that same tenacity and spunk and everything that I had that maybe I was missing. I know a lot of people say maybe there was something missing, maybe that's what it was. You always want to play within the confines of the game but at the same time you have to be you. You don't want to hurt the team but also you want to play with the same edge that got you where you're at."

(On if there were any other teams that he would have considered) - "Absolutely, this is my first day and when talking to Mr. Hickey several times on the phone and then the coaches and just getting a real feel for this organization. Then coming in and seeing what they were all about, all of this lined up after just didn't make sense because it just felt right. Some things just feel right, regardless of who that was or how many there were, it didn't come to fruition so we're here now."

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