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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Trying to understand Verner's pricing

By Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Alterraun Verner is a smart guy and a high-quality football player. He is going to hit the jackpot in free agency, maybe as soon as late afternoon on Tuesday.

In an interview with Mad Dog Radio on Monday, Verner talked about his financial expectations.

Here is what Verner said via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com:

"I would feel more obliged to go to a team that paid me $6 [million] or $7 [million] and made me one of the highest-paid players on the team than go to a team that paid me $8 [million] or $9 million and I wasn't one of the highest-paid players on the team."


I’m confused by that.

He’d rather go to a team with fewer high-paid people? Why does that context matter, and how would it help ensure a good situation for Verner? It’s hard for me to understand what Verner is getting at there.

In 2012, the Tennessee Titans signed their other starting cornerback, Jason McCourty, to a five-year deal worth $43 million with $20 million guaranteed.

Here are the top Titans in terms of average per year of current contracts:

Chris Johnson, $13.493 million
Jason McCourty, $8.6 million
Andy Levitre, $7.8 million
Michael Roos, $7.166 million
Michael Griffin, $7 million
Kamerion Wimbley, $7 million
David Stewart, $6.147 million

Johnson and Stewart are expected to be cut, and Wimbley might have to trim his salary to stay.

So Verner said $6 million or $7 million (presumably he’s talking average) would be acceptable if he was one of the highest-paid players on the team.

Brent Grimes just received $8 million a year from Miami, and Sam Shields $9.75 a year from Green Bay.

Let’s hypothetically make Verner a last-minute offer from the Titans: five years, $35 million. That $7 million average would mean he’d be tied for the fourth-highest-paid player on the team.

It would fit his criteria.

I don't know that the Titans would make that offer, but if they did, I think he’d say no to that in second, and he’s going to do far better than that. And good for him.

It seems to me he got a little knotted up in that attempted framing of what he’s looking for.