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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Titans Do Not Plan on Franchise Tagging CB Alterraun Verner


By on 2/15/2014 06:00:00 PM

The Tennessee Titans had only a handful of productive players on defense in 2013, none of them being more important than cornerback Alterraun Verner.

Verner is set to earn a lucrative contract this offseason after holding opposing quarterbacks to a quarterback rating under 56.0 in 2013. Verner was one of only three cornerbacks to do so, and by being only 25 years old, demand will be high for the defensive standout this offseason.

denverjeffrey, Wikimedia Commons

Verner isn't afraid to test the open market, and when he does, the dollars will come flying at him. The cornerback position is always held at a premium in the NFL, and Verner is one of its youngest and brightest. The allure of financial security will reign supreme this offseason as the defensive back seeks his first big payday since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

The Titans are not going to stand by and let Verner be wooed away from Tennessee in free agency, and are planning to retain him with a contract catered to his talents - just not with the franchise tag. It's an interesting decision by the Titans, and they are walking a fine line between keeping and losing Verner by avoiding the franchise tag.

It is very likely that Verner will receive contract offers that are equal to or better than the one offered by the Titans, it just depends on how he envisions his future.

There have been unverified rumors that the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings are interested in Verner, but this is merely online speculation. Both situations make sense, but the cap situation in San Francisco is too minimal to net Verner without him taking a team-friendly contract.

Tagging Verner would cost the Titans over $11 million, and with $8 million already sunk into cornerback Jason McCourty, there is no way the Titans would put such dire restraints on their already limited salary cap that is slightly over $6 million.

As noted by Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, it is unlikely that the Titans will match a significant offer for their best defensive pass defender. When free agency begins March 11, expect Verner to weigh his options and ultimately decide to leave the Music City for something a little more playoff-friendly.


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