The Alterraun Verner era in Tampa Bay is over.
As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Bucs released the veteran cornerback on Thursday. The move will save the Buccaneers $6.5 million.
Source: The #Bucs are releasing CB Alterraun Verner today. The future of Vernon Hargreaves helps explain this one for the former FA pickup
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 23, 2017
Verner was signed by the Buccaneers in 2014 as the team went on a free agent spending spree in Jason Licht and Lovie Smith’s first year on the job. In addition to Verner, the Bucs added defensive end Michael Johnson, tackle Anthony Collins, quarterback Josh McCown and a handful of other free agents. The moves proved fruitless, as the team went 2-14, followed by a 6-10 season, that led to the departure of Smith.
The former UCLA Bruin came to the Bucs from the Tennessee where he had made the Pro Bowl, but Verner was never able to duplicate his success with the Titans as a Buccaneer.
Verner started 23 games for the Buccaneers over his three season in Tampa, and recorded 148 tackles, 20 pass breakups, four interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Verner fell out of favor with the Bucs in Lovie Smith’s second season, and was seldom used in Mike Smith’s scheme last year where he managed to start just three games. The emergence of rookie Vernon Hargreaves, who started all 16 games as a rookie in 2016, combined with the development of slot corner Javien Elliot and the signing of Brent Grimes as a free agent last season, relegated Verner to part time player.