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.

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.

 

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

5 COMMENTS

  1. I know his cap hit wasnt worth his position on the depth chart but I liked his play. Hopefully we bring him back at a more reasonable number

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  2. I never really cared for him as a Buc. A lot of easy INTs ended up being passes defensed. He was slightly better in this defense where there is more man coverage, but we can do better for his salary.

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  3. My heart went out to Verner last year when he lost his father andhe managed to stay composed enough to suit up against the Seahawks and intercept one pass and break up another. Probably one of his best games as a Buc.
    It’s a shame he didn’t play that way all the time.
    As it is, he was just another bust as a highly paid FA who I believe Lovie Smith handpicked himself under the auspices of his contract that year.
    There are probably worse judges of pro level talent than Smith, they just don’t work for the Bucs anymore.
    Josh McClown anyone?

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  4. Hey Verner, thanks for your services. You were the best of the bunch of FA that year.

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  5. Good luck Verner. You made a dismal effort by Lovie’s 2014 FA choices much better.
    Josh McCown, what were they thinking?
    GO BUCS

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