Jason Licht and Lovie Smith are not messing around.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added their fourth free agent of this wild Tuesday, as they agreed to terms with Tennessee Titans corner Alterraun Verner.
The Buccaneers have agreed to terms with 2013 Pro Bowl CB Alterraun Verner.
— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) March 12, 2014
And the best part is that Verner didn’t even come with an outrageous price tag, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Former Titans CB Alterraun Verner is signing a four-year, $26.5 million including $14 million guaranteed with Tampa, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014
The average cost of this contract keeps Verner outside of the upper echelon of corners, and drastically reduces the wage bill for the defensive backfield while getting younger and still putting talented players on the field.
In other words, the Buccaneers have taken another step forward on the road to replacing Darrelle Revis, and making the decision to part ways with the All-Pro corner look a little better every passing hour.
Verner was one of the top options at cornerback, stifling opposing passers and allowing a passer rating of just over 55 on balls thrown in his direction in 2013. He’s tallied 11 interceptions in his four years as a pro after being drafted from UCLA. He was the sixth-ranked free agent (and the top corner) on the market, according to CBS Sports. Michael Johnson, who also agreed to terms with the Buccaneers today, was ranked fifth.
Verner has been a starter for two straight years with the Titans, and has yet to miss a game in his NFL career.
"I feel more compelled to go to a team that I think can win,'' Verner said during an interview with Mad Dog radio on Sirius
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 12, 2014
Verner now pairs with Johnthan Banks to create a talented tandem of corners who are both entering the prime of their careers, and the Buccaneers still have a load of cash to spend on filling other needs on the roster, such as bringing in offensive linemen like Anthony Collins and Evan Dietrich-Smith, who are both in talks with the team.
It should also be noted that this move does not eliminate the Buccaneers from the Charles Tillman sweepstakes, as the veteran corner is aging and won’t command a huge salary, and would be an excellent second or third corner to compliment Johnthan Banks across from Verner.