Michael Griffin and Cortland Finnegan developed a very close relationship as teammates in the Tennessee Titans secondary over the past few seasons. Ironically enough for the Titans this off-season, the franchise tag decision would come down to Griffin or Finnegan. Tennessee decided to assign the franchise tag to safety Michael Griffin, putting Finnegan on the free agent market without even a contract offer of any kind. The cost of the franchise tag is around $6.2 million for the defensive back out of Texas.
Griffin has a very peculiar story when it comes to how he found out that he was given the franchise tag. He also sounds out of the loop when it comes to the bounty scandal that is rocking the NFL world this week.
Michael Griffin joined 104.5 The Zone in Nashville with 3HL (3 Hour Lunch) to discuss how he found out that he was franchise tagged by the Tennessee Titans, the Titans emailing him with the news of being franchise tagged, speaking with anyone from the Titans organization regarding the franchise tag, what he was watching on television when he received the news, if the Titans have ever participated in a ‘bounty’ program, the idea of being paid more money to knock a player out, and Cortland Finnegan not being offered a contract by the Titans.
Your reaction to this news? How did you find out you were given the franchise tag? How does that even happen?
“Oh I got an email. I was just watching TV, watching my daughter and an email popped up on my phone and it basically said what was going on. I was being franchised.”
So it was an email from the Titans?
“Yeah. It was an email from the Titans. [Host: They told you that you were being franchised by email?] Yeah. I hadn’t heard from anybody in the organization. [Host: Did your agent call you?] I hadn’t talked to anybody.”
You still haven’t heard from anybody at the Titans?
“I mean my agent called me and said…he called me this morning. Last night he said, ‘There is a possibility you might get franchised tomorrow. Tomorrow is the deadline.’ He called me earlier this morning and said, ‘No word yet.’ Then he called me and was like, ‘You are going to get franchised today in a couple of hours.’ I already told him I got the email.”
Just curious what were you watching when you got this email from the Titans?
“I was watching Dora the Explorer. I had my daughter. She is almost 2-years old. I mean I’m watching all those shows on Nick Jr.”
You played under Jim Schwartz. Did you guys have any bounties going on over there with pools of money?
“I mean isn’t all that part of the game? I mean I don’t think we had a bounty thing or not, but I don’t know exactly. I don’t know. I don’t really pay too much attention to it. I ain’t really been watching TV itself. I had been hearing getting paid, but I guess injuring somebody and what not, but I mean it’s hard to distinguish when it’s something personal or was it an accident? Was it on purpose? It’s kind of hard to distinguish everything that is going on that might have happened whether it was a hard hit or a cut or something. It’s all part of the game.”
Did they give you incentives for knocking a guy out or anything like that?
“No. I ain’t never got paid for that. I have never heard of it, so I’m really curious on how this whole bounty thing and how the whole operation works out.”
Cortland Finnegan is not going to be back. You have been hanging out a lot with him and I know you guys are pretty tight. Is that tough?
“Yeah it is tough. He’s a great football player. He’s a great friend . Great guy on-and-off the field. We always called him, ‘The face of Nashville.’ Everybody knows no matter where you go, no matter what type of crowd it was, he was just a very popular guy here in Nashville on-and-off the field. Great guy. You name it he was that person. Yeah it is going to be tough. It’s going to be even tougher than the year before. Me and Cortland are pretty close. I guess one-by-one everybody is leaving.”