CB, Alterraun Verner
Verner signed with the Buccaneers in 2014, and was supposed to be a consistent defensive presence after failed attempts with the likes of Aqib Talib and Darelle Revis. Two years later, he’s third on the depth chart and has been replaced by a career nickel back named Sterling Moore and an undrafted rookie named Jude Adjei-Barimah.
Moore, the former Cowboy and Patriot finished the year with nine starts, Adjei-Barimah with seven, and Verner had just six. Further declining the seven-year vets’ value is the fact he finished with his second lowest tackle total in his career, and had just one interception. Not numbers you need to see out of a veteran who is supposed to be leading the secondary in a takeaway centered scheme.
While none of the Buccaneers secondary players had a year to brag about, both Moore and Adjei-Barimah outplayed all of their counterparts on a regular basis, and made it no mystery who deserved to start.
Verner was on the field for more than 75% of the defensive plays for the Buccaneers in 2014. In 2015, he found himself on the field for less than 55%. With his cap hit set at $6.75 million for the upcoming season, the team can cut the six-year veteran without carrying any dead money, and move forward looking for the cornerbacks needed to run new defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s system.
Next: Logan Mankins