Oct 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Tennessee Titans defensive back Alterraun Verner (20) against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Titans 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
In a recent interview with Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner left some remarks that make you truly appreciate his respect for the team that gave him a chance in the NFL.
I have always known Verner to be a standup guy on and off the field but some of his remarks in his interview with Wyatt were incredible and I truly respect him as man and as a player. You don’t see too many humble guys like him anymore and players who appreciate the team that took the chance on them. He left statements like these:
“I love being here, I love my teammates and I love Tennessee. When it comes to the money, it is not like I have to be paid super high.”
“At the same time, it is not like I want the Titans to spend all of their salary cap just to keep me. It is not like I need $10 million or $11 million, or I need to be one of the top five highest-paid corners in the league. I want them to be able to sign other guys to help the team”
Wow. Verner is the definition of a respectable player. To not bash a team where he knows a chance at resigning isn’t very high for other reasons takes a lot of humbleness on his part and understanding that the NFL is a business. Verner later points out that he understands the business aspect of the NFL and that he can’t expect the Titans to pay for him when the money could be placed on other pieces that could put the team in better position to win.
This love and understanding for a team that took a gamble on him and gave him the chance to live out his dream in the NFL is the definition of respect. Sure, he played well and deserves the pay out, but to understand the Titans may be in a position where that can’t happen and respect that is incredible.
Verner continues on to say the one thing that will always stick out to me about his integrity and love for the team and city that gave him a chance:
“So them not offering me is not them saying they don’t think I am a good player or they don’t want me, they just might need to focus on somebody else. … If I didn’t come back, I wouldn’t hold a grudge.”
While to some people this may not say much, it shows me that his heart and love for this team will not go out even if he does leave. No grudges will be held, which is something that says a lot about what his time here has meant to him. Alterraun Verner just paved the way for future players on what respectability and humbleness is defined as.
Whether or not Verner stays with the Tennessee Titans or moves on to another team, this act of respect and love for the team that selected him to play in the NFL is a move that will always make him a fan favorite in Nashville. I hope Verner gets the payout he deserves, no matter where that may be, and I wish him much continued success along his journey in the NFL.
Players like Verner are becoming harder and harder to find in the world of sports. I know without a fathom of a doubt he will always be welcomed back to Nashville to a roaring applause for his time here and for the respect he has for the Tennessee Titans.
(Credit all quotes from Alterraun Verner to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean).