NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport and ESPN insider Field Yates reported this afternoon that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be releasing cornerback Alterraun Verner, a 2014 free agent signing who was miscast in defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s press-heavy scheme. Verner signed a four-year, $25.75-million contract after posting 11 interceptions and 50 pass breakups in four years for the Tennessee Titans. Verner went on to produce just four picks and 20 deflections in three years at Tampa. He was partly displaced by Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes.
Listed at just 5-foot-10, 181-pounds, Verner was not a good fit in the role of Tampa’s lead cornerback after excelling in Tennessee as the designated number two receiver and slot specialist. Verner is best deployed in zone coverage that New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen prefers, and his familiarity with the Saints as a two-year division rival and former teammate of Saints cornerback Sterling Moore makes New Orleans a great landing spot.
Schematically and personally, Verner is a great fit for what the Saints are looking for at cornerback. This article is a great insight into his daily routine and what kind of man Verner is.
I say this with some pause out of fear of jinxing him, but Verner has only missed two games in his 7-year career. Verner is still relatively young for an experienced free agent, having turned 28-years old this year. Also, as a veteran released from his contract he will not count against compensatory picks rewarded for the 2018 NFL Draft.
What do you think? Should the Saints try and get into the bidding for Verner’s services, or should they wait and see which players hit free agency on March 9th?