AFC East: Alterraun Verner

The New York Jets made an interesting phone call Saturday, inquiring about Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner, according to a league source.

Verner, 25, coming off his first Pro Bowl season, will be one of the top cornerbacks on the free-agent market. Before you get too excited, let's add some perspective here: This smacks of a due-diligence call by the Jets, who are involved in a negotiation with their own top cornerback, Antonio Cromartie. If Cromartie doesn't take a pay cut to lower his $15 million cap charge, he'll be released. So, yeah, this could be posturing as well. My sense is that Verner is a contingency if things fall apart with Cromartie.

Verner will be expensive. Very expensive. Brent Grimes re-upped with the Miami Dolphins for four years, $32 million, and Sam Shields re-signed Saturday with the Green Bay Packers for a reported four years, $39 million. I don't think the Jets are eager to spend $9 million to $10 million-a-year on a new corner, one year after using a high first-round pick on Dee Milliner.

True, Cromartie is about four years older than Verner, but he's still a good player, assuming that troublesome hip has healed. If he agrees to reduce the $9.5 million he's due to make in salary and bonuses, Cromartie would be a solid, short-term answer. Then again ...

If the Jets cut Cromartie, they'd save $9.5 million on this year's cap, creating a nice, not-so-little slot for a premier free agent. Interesting. By rule, teams can only talk with agents that represent players from other team. (Yeah, like we believe they're only talking.) The real action starts Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Halftime thoughts: Back to reality

September, 29, 2013
NASHVILLE -- A few thoughts on the New York Jets, down 24-6 at halftime to the Tennessee Titans:

1. The mirage: Everyone was giddy after last week's win over the Buffalo Bills. When are people going to learn? The Jets always look good against the Bills, creating a false sense of superiority. The Titans knocked them back to reality from the outset. The first half was reminiscent of last years' December debacle in Nashville.

2. Geno Sanchez: Rookie quarterback Geno Smith committed three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble in the open field), resulting in short-field touchdowns for the Titans. They converted the mistakes into 21 points. One interception was an underthrow on a deep route to Stephen Hill, and the other was a poor decision, a throw into blanket coverage. Cornerback Alterraun Verner made both interceptions. This is what happens when you have a rookie at quarterback: severe growing pains. Smith gets little help from coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who continues to let him throw.

3. Bad defense: The Jets went into the game more concerned about Jake Locker's legs than his arm. Big mistake. Locker picked apart Rex Ryan's defense, throwing a career-high three touchdowns in the first half. It was a terrific game plan by the Titans, who surprised the Jets with their short-passing attack. It neutralized the Jets' pass rush and found soft spots in the secondary.

4. More push-ups: Looks like Ryan's penalty-prevention program did not do the trick. One week after setting a franchise record with 20 penalties, the Jets committed eight (one declined). The lack of discipline has to be alarming, considering how much emphasis was placed on the issue.

Let's redo the first round of 2010 draft

December, 8, 2010
Drafting is a difficult job.

But that shouldn't deter us from second-guessing whether teams succeeded or screwed up eight months ago.

Three-quarters into the season, Dallas Morning News writer Rick Gosselin analyzed the 2010 rookie class by their production and slotted them back into the draft order to see who teams should have taken in April.

The list suggests three AFC East clubs have generated much less than the designated value from their first-round prospects, but no team has gotten more production from its picks than the New England Patriots have.

In the adjusted draft, the Patriots' actual first round pick, cornerback Devin McCourty, shoots up 23 spots to the Washington Redskins at fourth overall. Tight end Aaron Hernandez was a fourth-round pick, but with hindsight he projects to the Atlanta Falcons at 19th overall. Tight end Rob Gronkowski moves from 42nd overall to the Detroit Lions with the 30th pick

No other AFC East team's actual first-round pick -- Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller, Miami Dolphins defensive end Jared Odrick or New York Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson -- appeared in Gosselin's reorganized order.

The adjusted order has cornerback Joe Haden to the Bills at No. 9, receiver Jacoby Ford to the Patriots at No. 27, running back Jahvid Best to the Dolphins at No. 28 and cornerback Alterraun Verner to the Jets at No. 29.