Devin McCourty 'lobbying' for Alterraun Verner to join Patriots in free agency
With his 55.8 opponent passer rating allowed in 2013 -- the third-best among all qualifying cornerbacks in the NFL -- former Tennessee Titans defensive back Alterraun Verner stands to make a killing when free agency rolls around on Tuesday. He's been tied to multiple teams with a need at corner, and he talked about that process with SIRIUS XM's Mad Dog Sports Radio on Monday.
"You're not going to get a better all-around football player in the NFL [than me]," Verner said. "I'm gonna cover, [and I] don't shy away from contact. If you ask me to play inside, if you ask me to blitz, I'm a football player and I'll do whatever it takes to win."
Verner proved that he can certainly cover -- in 586 coverage snaps in 2013, per Pro Football Focus, he was targeted 79 times and allowed 39 receptions for 579 yards and two touchdowns, picking off five passes. It was by far his best season since the Titans selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of UCLA. Tennessee doesn't feel that it has the resources to keep Verner -- at least that's been his impression -- and he'll hit the open market at maximum value.
As such, Verner has laid out a few thoughts about what he wants.
"I feel more compelled to go to a team that I think can win," he said. "I haven't had that experience for the past four years in Tennessee. Money is [priority] but it isn't ... I look at it differently ... Some look at it tangibly. I look at it as more of a respect value. I would feel more obliged to go to a team that paid me $6 or $7 million and made me one of the highest-paid players on the team, than go to a team that paid me $8 or $9 million and I wasn't one of the highest-paid players on the team."
Verner talked about a number of possible landing spots, including the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers, but it seems that the New England Patriots have an inside track if defensive back Devin McCourty -- the brother of Titans cornerback Jason McCourty -- has anything to say about it.
"[New England] is definitely a possibility," he said. "Jason's brother [Devin] has been lobbying for me." Not that Bill Belichick will necessarily listen to any lobbying, and we're quite sure he already knows how good Verner is, but hey ... in free agency, every little bit helps.