The sizable patch of green, which indicates rain, on regional weather radar Saturday afternoon undoubtedly kept a lot of fans away from LP Field.
Green also was the reason Cortland Finnegan also was a no-show, albeit a different kind of green.
Just hours after his representatives submitted a proposal on a contract extension to the Tennessee Titans, the veteran cornerback walked out of training camp. In so doing, he joined running back Chris Johnson, absent since the start of camp, in a game of hide-and-please-pay, which the franchise does not want to play.
“He needs to come back to camp,” general manager Mike Reinfeldt said. “We’re not going to have any contract discussions as long as he’s not in camp.
“…It’s disappointing because in the last two weeks we’ve signed 34 guys. I’ve talked to him. Coach [Mike] Munchak did. [We said], ‘Hey be patient, we’ll get to you.’ We made an offer. They made a counter offer. That’s kind of how it works.”
Finnegan has entered the final year of his current contract and is scheduled to earn $3.8 million in salary.
According to Reinfeldt, the latest counter offer on an extension from Finnegan’s agent was received at 5 p.m. Friday. He said he and his staff were in the process of reviewing that offer and expected to formulate a response sometime during the weekend.
All attempts to contact the player on Saturday were unsuccessful. Reinfeldt added that neither Finnegan nor his representatives have asked for a trade.
“If you can find a contract extension that makes sense for both sides, we should do it,” Reinfeldt said. “If not, making $3.8 million is not the worst thing in the world either. … There was the intent to sit down with his agent and talk. I think … we thought we could work out an extension that both sides would be OK with. So it kind of caught us off guard.”
Reinfeldt has maintained a similar stance of no talks while not at camp with Johnson, although he conceded that the team has offered a compromise.
“We’ve asked him to come in,” Reinfeldt said. “He has a contract. As far as practicing, that’s something we can work out. It’s important for him to be here and attend the meetings. We’re not going to put him in harm’s way either. There’s a subtlety there.”
There likely is less reason for the team to be accommodating with Finnegan. The Titans have drafted a cornerback each of the last three years and earlier in the week signed veteran Frank Walker for depth.
“If we need, we’ll go find other players,” Reinfeldt said.
The fact that Finnegan was persona non grata at the most high-profile practice of the offseason — a crowd of roughly 4,100 did brave the weather, which ultimately held up — was somewhat unique given the leadership role he assumed with players-only workouts during the lockout.
The session included some low-impact scrimmage work in two-minute, four-minute, red zone and backed up [on offense] situations, among others.
“He was here for the [first] week, practiced well and did everything we asked of him,” Munchak said. “He was looking good. So this was obviously unexpected. … We’re all professionals and we understand the business. I think you same the same thing in this practice.”
It’s just that no one saw two of the more familiar names on the roster.
“It’s a little distracting,” Reinfeldt said. “I think the unfortunate thing is our guys are guys who are under contract. Usually you have holdouts when you have guys who haven’t signed contracts — draft picks, franchise tags. These guys have contracts. We’ll get through it. It’s part of an NFL season.”