The year 2020 was hectic for most NFL players due to COVID-19, and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman B.J. Finney can certainly attest to that. Finney was not only traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Cincinnati Bengals last season, but he barely played for either team, either. Those events seemingly transpired as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Jeremy Fowler and Brady Henderson of ESPN not too long ago, Finney, a former undrafted free agent out of Kansas State, struggled to properly train last offseason after signing with the Seahawks for fear of losing a $2 million signing bonus, due to COVID-19 restrictions on team physicals. Finney, who signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Seahawks last March, never played an offensive snap for the team because he basically showed up for training camp not in proper shape.
He reportedly showed up to Seahawks training camp above his normal playing weight of 315 pounds. Ultimately, he wound up traded to the Bengals as part of an October deal that included defensive end Carlos Dunlap going to Seattle. Finney barely saw the field as a member of the Bengals, and they cut him earlier this offseason.
Finney recently spoke with Missi Matthews of Steelers.com about his 2020 experience with the Seahawks, and that included clarifying his contract situation and offseason training regime. He explained that had he showed up to training camp hurt, he would have been left without a contract, a job, and, well, hurt.
“Last March, I signed with Seattle and that was right as COVID was really kicking off in the country and Seattle was the hotbed in the country at that time,” Finney said. “So, I was unable to travel there to get my physical and train. Fast forward to July, I showed up to Seattle overweight and out of shape as expected, but I got to keep the contract so that was good. Things didn’t really go well, however, (and) I got traded to Cincinnati in October, but by that time and that point of the season, they had their guys going forward in the season and bringing someone into the fold was really hard to do. We weren’t surprised in early March when I got released.”
Finney went on to say that it didn’t take long for the Steelers to call him and offer a contract to return after Cincinnati released him. Finney played his first five NFL seasons with the Steelers after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He is currently the most experienced center the Steelers have under contract for the 2021 season.