As most Tennessee Titans fans know, Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner is coming off a Pro Bowl producing season with a lot of upside, strong play, and finishing his contract season. Most would assume that a corner who puts in that kind of performance would be a sure-fire resign right?
In this case, that may not be the final outcome the Titans will have in mind.
How does this make sense most of you ask? Well, it’s as simple as a matter of money and financial issues with the Titans. When I say financial issues I don’t mean that the Titans have a terrible salary cap currently, however, paying a cornerback the kind of money Verner will want is rare to see twice on one team in the NFL.
Jason McCourty is the cornerback opposite of Verner and he received a huge payday as a result of his play. McCourty is currently sitting on a $5 million 2013 season. While that isn’t a bad pay grade for a very reliable corner, paying that amount on two corners for one team is pushing the envelope a little in most eyes within the Titans organization.
The question is whether or not the Titans feel as if Verner is worth the money to bring back or not. Remember that the Titans used two draft picks last year on Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Khalid Wooten as potential replacements for Verner and for depth. Not to mention the Titans also have a very capable Coty Sensabaugh waiting in the wings as well.
Is Blidi able to step up and replace Verner? Can Sensabaugh shift and bring in the same play as Verner did? These are all questions that are hard to answer and you can’t foresee right now. I remember reading that Tommie Campbell at one point was supposed to take over for Verner but his consistency never came into play.
Is Campbell still an option to take Verner’s place or is that opportunity long gone? Blidi was seen as a potential replacement as well for Verner as his size, athleticism, and strong coverage skills were seen as the future after Verner’s departure. Is that still the case now? No one can know for sure.
If I was in charge of Verner’s future, I would pay the man. He played well, beat the odds that were stacked against him, and proved he is strong, reliable and can make big plays throughout a game. Everyone else behind him is depth, which can never hurt. Pay the man, I’ve seen far too many Titans playmakers shafted by the Titans and I don’t want Verner to be the next.
Realistically, however, I don’t see the Titans retaining him. They had already built for the future at the position without him. Wreh-Wilson, Wooten and Sensabaugh are still here and they can fill in nicely. I would be excited to see Wreh-Wilson’s ability in Verner’s absence as well. Not to mention that the money they could give to Verner, if not spent, can be used to help keep Jurrell Casey around next offseason when his contract needs restructured.
I hate the reality of Verner leaving because it has been great to see him play and grow with the Titans. He proved he deserved to start despite Campbell emerging early as the favorite and then worked his way into the Pro Bowl.
He is a playmaker the Titans will let go, but when you look deeper into it that decision it may be justified by the Titans. Either way Verner will make plays wherever he goes moving forward and I would like to see his success continue.
Agree/disagree with this decision or any other comments on Verner possibly leaving? Leave a comment below, via Twitter @Titan_Sized or with me directly @NPitak, or via Facebook.