Tennessee Titans: Alterraun Verner

Circumstances the last few years made me overly critical of Tommie Campbell.

The Titans cornerback is physically gifted, but things haven't clicked for him mentally in his three seasons since he was a seventh-round pick out of California (Pa.). I don't know that they ever will, but he gets a fresh chance with the new coaching staff, and perhaps they can get him to a place their predecessors could not.

[+] EnlargeTommie Campbell
Hannah Foslien/Getty ImagesTommie Campbell may be getting a fresh start with Tennessee's new coaching staff.
He's got tantalizing size at 6-foot-3 and 198 pounds. And he can really run.

My beef hasn't really been with him, so much as with his coaches. But Campbell suffered collateral damage.

Despite the fact that Alterraun Verner was clearly a superior talent, former defensive coordinator Jerry Gray was enamored with Campbell's physical gifts. For two camps in a row Gray acted like Campbell would win the starting spot opposite Jason McCourty, and it amounted to insulting Verner.

The Titans have a reasonable succession plan in order for life after Verner, who signed a free-agent deal with the Buccaneers. Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Coty Sensabaugh are at the front of the line. They did the same thing when Cortland Finnegan left for a big free-agent deal in St. Louis, with Verner poised to take over.

I don't think there was a scenario where the Titans were going to re-sign Verner.

But you know what made it even less likely? The way Gray acted with regard to Verner versus Campbell in the summer of 2012 and 2013.

Verner exited gracefully, but also admitted "at times I felt like I'm being demeaned or being put under when I felt like I'm being a professional, I'm doing everything right."

Gray did not exit gracefully when he was not brought back in the Titans coaching change. Even if Mike Munchak had accepted the team's conditions and returned, Gray was a goner and the team would have changed defensive coordinator, likely to Gregg Williams.

It wasn't Campbell's fault that Gray pumped him up so much and that he basically insulted a better player in so doing.

Campbell played in the first eight games last season on special teams and had a tendency to draw penalties. He re-injured a troublesome shoulder, sat a few games and went on IR. He's had surgery and feels set to be a better player this go-round.

"I may be out of the loop right now -- or some people may think that -- but you never know," Campbell recently told David Boclair of the Nashville Post. "Come August, that's when positions are won or lost. It ain't OTAs. It ain't minicamp. It's preseason and I am going to be at full strength and ready to go during the preseason…"

"Obviously I plan on being the starter, one way or the other. So that's the goal. That's the goal for every player on this team. That's my goal. It's going to continue to be my goal."

His primary patron is gone. Gray is coaching defensive backs in Minnesota.

We don't know how holdover assistant secondary coach Steve Brown or new secondary coach Louie Cioffi or defensive coordinator Ray Horton or coach Ken Whisenhunt feel about Campbell now.

We do know, like everyone else, he starts with a clean slate.

The Titans haven't talked about a three-man competition to replace Verner. I expect Wreh-Wilson or Sensabaugh will win the starting job and the other will work as the nickel while Campbell battles fourth-round rookie Marqueston Huff for the top backup spot.

I'm interested how Campbell responds to the changes.

I'll watch him now determined not to hold Gray against him.
Reading the coverage of the Tennessee Titans...

Titans first-round pick Taylor Lewan was appealing in part because of his nasty streak. But at times, he's crossed the line on the field, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

To which I say: I think the Titans need to monitor the nasty streak. Another Titans tackle from Michigan who had a similar playing persona, Jon Runyan, said a player needs to be able to turn it on and off. “[Y]ou’ve got to take your shots in there at them, and push them around a little bit and truly just be a jerk on the field,” Runyan said. “But you can’t live in society like that because you’ll wind up being locked up.”

Take a crack at building the Titans' 53-man roster with this tool, via The Tennessean.

Alterraun Verner ranked 93rd in the 2013 season in the top 101 of Khaled Elsayed's list on Pro Football Focus. The Titans cornerback turned Buccaneer allowed one reception per every 15 snaps in coverage, fifth-best in the league, even as he dropped off at the end.
Tuesday marks a week since free agency opened. Let's look at what has unfolded for the Tennessee Titans to this point.

Newcomers

RB Dexter McCluster (Kansas City) -- He looks to be more a running back than a receiver in their initial thinking. Catching passes out of the backfield will likely be his biggest role in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense.

DL Al Woods (Pittsburgh) -- The Titans have looked at a lot of versatile defensive linemen, and Woods is the one they’ve managed to add so far. He can play anywhere on a three-man line but provides a nice option in the middle.

LB Wesley Woodyard (Denver) -- He’ll bring quality leadership and is expected to fit comfortably as a 3-4 inside linebacker, a spot at which the Titans need to continue to upgrade their options.

QB Charlie Whitehurst -- A veteran quarterback who’s hardly played but was in Whisenhunt’s offense last year in San Diego. Will have more of a chance at playing time behind Jake Locker than he did behind Philip Rivers.

RT Michael Oher -- A big, durable, physical offensive lineman who’s in line to take over at right tackle. He’s been penalty prone and hasn’t progressed a ton in five years with the Ravens, but if he improves, he could be a big answer.

Visitors who remain unsigned

LB Akeem Jordan (Kansas City) -- Could be a good option as the short-area inside linebacker.

DT Pat Sims (Oakland) -- A run stopper who could likely contribute on run downs.

Re-signed

SS Bernard Pollard -- The outspoken thumper did a lot to help restore the Titans to relevance last season and fits very nicely with Michael Griffin in the middle of the Titans' secondary. Sounded fired up about the new regime.

DE Ropati Pitoitua -- A giant defensive end who did some good work in the 4-3 last season. He’s even better cast for the new hybrid front that will have a significant 3-4 element.

KR Leon Washington -- He settled the return game down substantially after he joined the team late in the season. McCluster could render Washington redundant, but starting out with multiple options for the return game is a good thing.

RB Jackie Battle -- The Titans are heading toward a committee of running backs. Battle should be the backup to the Shonn Greene piece of it plus a special teamer.

Signed away

CB Alterraun Verner (Tampa Bay) -- A very productive corner who was the Titans’ lone Pro Bowler in 2013. They never expected to get him back, and though his price wasn’t what his agent expected, he bolted to be part of the Cover-2 Lovie Smith will run.

Released

RT David Stewart -- Beat up and expensive after nine seasons, he sounded like he’s leaning strongly to retirement after he got the news from the only organization for which he’s played.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick -- Interception prone and too streaky, he still ranked as a serviceable veteran backup in a bleak landscape for them. Whitehurst takes his place and saved the Titans a $500,000 roster bonus.

Still out there

WR Kenny Britt -- Interest in a reclamation project is reportedly coming from St. Louis, New England and Washington.

G-C Chris Spencer -- He’s a player the Titans could use back to work behind Andy Levitre, Brian Schwenke and Chance Warmack.

DT Antonio Johnson -- Has 3-4 experience from Indianapolis but with Woods added Johnson hardly ranks as a priority at this point.

WR Damian Williams -- A smart and versatile receiver. He can be good as the fourth or fifth guy, but it's a loaded free-agent pool and draft class at receiver.

Also: C Kevin Matthews, OT Mike Otto, QB Rusty Smith, C Rob Turner, RS-WR Marc Mariani.
Alterraun Verner made a graceful exit from Tennessee as he signed a four-year, $25.5 million free-agent deal with Tampa Bay.

He appeared on The Midday 180 in Nashville as our guest Friday largely to say thanks to Titans fans.

Verner said he expected some heat for leaving, but that the Titans' fanbase has been largely congratulatory.

[+] EnlargeAlterraun Verner
Don McPeak/USA TODAY SportsAlterraun Verner was the Titans' lone Pro Bowl selection last season.
He was polite, professional and not angry, but also said the Titans didn’t always make him feel loved and appreciated. In free agency, feeling loved is crucial.

You can hear the interview I’m about to quote from here.

I’m fine with the Titans' ultimate plan to allow Coty Sensabaugh or Blidi Wreh-Wilson to win the open starting spot, just as Verner won it when Cortland Finnegan left. I know Tennessee was the victim of its own accurate pricing -- if the Titans offered a deal at the end of last season averaging $6.5 million a year, Verner’s agent would have scoffed. Yet that’s what he ultimately got from the Buccaneers.

“That’s why I said the money really isn't the issue because in some sense, Tennessee kind of [ultimately] offered something around where I'm at now,” Verner said. “It's not really the money that was the issue. It's kind of rooted a little bit deeper than that. So maybe if they would have did this offer before the season started or maybe during the season, maybe I would have did it, but once the season ended, it was going to take a little bit more -- not necessarily money -- but just different ways of approaching the whole situation, they would have had to do a little different for me to probably come back and consider coming back."

So did the Titans undervalue him in non-financial ways?

"In answering that question, I think it's very tough because there's a lot of changeover, new coaches and everything like that,” he said. “At times, I felt that I could have been undervalued or maybe not appreciated enough. You know, I don't need to get slaps on the back or pampered or anything like that. I've never been that type of person or player to really want that. But at times I felt like I'm being demeaned or being put under when I felt like I'm being a professional, I'm doing everything right.

“I practice, I play every game -- hurt or not hurt -- I don't really complain and I'm a team player. But at certain points I feel like I gained, or should have earned, more respect at certain areas. It would take too long to go real deep into it or anything like that. It's not like I'm saying that the front office or coaches or anybody is bad or treated me mean or anything, there's just certain things that they could have did a little bit different or that they did do that wasn't the most ideal or most respectful way of doing things."

Here’s some leftover ill effects from the poor job Jerry Gray did as the Titans' defensive coordinator for the past three years. In both 2012 and 2013, Gray pushed hard for the bigger, faster Tommie Campbell to win the job opposite Jason McCourty.

Verner consistently outplayed Campbell. Everyone should have to compete for his job, of course. But the way Gray propped up Campbell was a joke, and I imagine Verner resented it to some degree.

Surely that at least played a part of what he’s referring to when he says there were times he felt “demeaned” or “put under.”

He’s landed in a good spot. Like virtually everyone else who follows the team, I wish him well and expect big things.
Alterraun Verner spent the past two years proving to the Tennessee Titans he wasn't just a zone cornerback, though he's at his best in a zone scheme.

He had a breakthrough season in 2013 playing whatever Tennessee asked and was the franchise's only Pro Bowl representative.

[+] EnlargeAlterraun Verner
Don McPeak/USA TODAY SportsAlterraun Verner is headed to an ideal situation in Tampa Bay.
He'll play some man coverage as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Lovie Smith is expected to employ primarily the Tampa 2 that Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin put in place years ago.

And Verner, who has reached a deal with the Bucs, should thrive in it. He gets to the right places, he's got really good ball skills and he'll have a safety protecting him over top guarding against his one "weakness," a lack of top speed.

Tuesday morning on The Wake Up Zone in Nashville, co-host and former Titans tight end Frank Wycheck connected dots and projected Verner to Tampa, and he got me thinking.

Verner could likely have gone to the New York Jets and I think he would have handled it fine there, but Rex Ryan is more a man coverage coach.

Verner to Tampa might be as good a free-agent marriage as we've seen for a player leaving Nashville in recent years.

I am surprised by the money. Per Adam Schefter, Verner received a four-year deal worth $25.5 million including $14 million guaranteed.

It's not surprising the Titans wouldn't go to the lengths the Colts went for Vontae Davis (four years, $39 million), the Packers went for Sam Shields (four years, $39 million) or the Dolphins went with Brent Grimes (four years, $32 million).

Verner didn't get $9.75 million a year like Davis or Shields, and he didn't get $8 million a year like Grimes.

He got $6.375 million a year.

It's a nice deal, and congratulations to a very good player and good guy for getting it. I thought he'd do even better.

I never expected the Titans would step up to pay him big money, instead turning to Coty Sensabaugh or Blidi Wreh-Wilson the way they turned to Verner when Cortland Finnegan left in 2012.

But he took a deal the Titans -- who drafted him in the fourth round in 2010 -- probably could have handled. In fact, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean says Tennessee made a late push to get involved. Verner's representation overestimated what he would be worth, and would probably have scoffed at a similar offer from the Titans earlier.

A $6.375 million average wouldn't have been at all out of line with the $8.6 million average of the Titans' other starting cornerback, Jason McCourty.

When the market emerged, however, Verner chose Tampa.

Here's hoping the Titans use the money they didn't spend on Verner to help fill other needs at pass-rusher, inside linebacker, right tackle and/or running back. And on an extension for a guy like Jurrell Casey.
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."
Verner


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.
Reading the coverage of the Tennessee Titans ...

The Titans could pursue a running back in free agency, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. The prime guys are Ben Tate, Darren McFadden and Donald Brown.

To which I say: They’re going to get out of one bad running back situation with Chris Johnson. Taking on Tate or McFadden, who struggle with injuries and are unlikely to come close to matching Johnson’s durability could be a giant mistake. I’d be fine with Brown if the price is right, but his best work has come against the Titans, which I fear makes him more attractive than he should be. They should not be giving any sort of big contract to a veteran back a year after they gave Shonn Green $10 million over three years. The guy to be interested in now is Darren Sproles, and I have a sense they are curious about him.

The Titans are interested in Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones, says Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

Rating the Titans' free-agent decisions in the past, from Wyatt.

To which I say: A good percentage of these are rated “right call” and I agree. Bemoan the Titans’ overall failures, but they are right far more often than they are wrong when they let free agents walk.

The holes on the Titans' depth chart as free agency opens, from Tom Gower of Total Titans.

Chris Johnson will have trouble finding big money in this market since teams are questioning his work ethic, says Mike Freeman of
Bleacher Report.

Alterraun Verner covered in-routes very well. That’s part of this very thorough analysis of Verner’s entire 2013 season from Cian Fahey of Bleacher Report.

Top free-agent roundup: AFC South

March, 10, 2014
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With the 2014 free-agency period starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, here is a look at top free agents in the AFC South as compiled by reporters Tania Ganguli, Paul Kuharsky, Michael DiRocco and Mike Wells. The top seven free agents are on defense, led by cornerback Vontae Davis of the Colts. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew, a fixture in Jacksonville for the past eight years, is looking for a new team. Is this the end of Antoine Bethea's run in Indianapolis?

1. Vontae Davis, Colts CB: Indianapolis needs a top cornerback to help a defense that finished 20th in the league last season. Davis has shown he has the talent to be one of the top cornerbacks in the league. He just needs to work on his consistency.

2. Alterraun Verner, Titans CB: A smart, aware corner with a knack for getting to the ball, he just lacks top speed and size.

3. Antoine Bethea, Colts S: A reliable player, having started every game he played during his eight years with the Colts. Finished with at least 100 tackles in five of those seasons.

4. Earl Mitchell, Texans NT: Solid player at the point of attack and has shown the ability to get consistent penetration. He had 48 tackles and 1.5 sacks last season.

5. Bernard Pollard, Titans S: Played well as an in-the-box safety and provided the sort of standard-setting leadership the Titans lacked previously. Update: Signed one-year, $2 million deal to remain with Titans.

6. Darryl Sharpton, Texans LB: Led the Texans with 87 tackles but is not as good in coverage as he is against the run.

Smith
7. Antonio Smith, Texans DE: He is more of a run-stuffing defensive end than a pass-rusher, although he did record five sacks in 2013.

8. Ben Tate, Texans RB: He led the Texans with 771 yards rushing. He has been somewhat injury-prone but has produced when needed as Arian Foster's backup.

9. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars RB: Jones-Drew started 15 games and led the Jaguars with 803 yards and five touchdowns rushing. He also caught 43 passes (third on the team) for 314 yards. He got off to a slow start then battled through ankle, hamstring and knee issues and averaged a career-low 3.4 yards per carry.

Brown
10. Donald Brown, Colts RB:
Brown was the Colts’ third running back twice in 2013 only to end the season as the starter. He has the speed but was too inconsistent during his five seasons in Indianapolis.

11. Garrett Graham, Texans TE: He’s not Owen Daniels, but he can line up tight or as a flex tight end. He came into his own as a receiver last season with 49 catches for 545 yards and five TDs.

12. Ahmad Bradshaw, Colts RB: A neck injury limited Bradshaw to only three games last season. It took just those three games for him to show he was the Colts' most effective running back.

13. Ropati Pitoitua, Titans DE: A giant, run-stuffing end who would be a solid, flexible piece in the hybrid front. Update: Signed 3-year, deal for $9.6 million to remain with Titans.

14. Adam Vinatieri, Colts K: The 41-year-old Vinatieri was 35-of-40 on field goals and a perfect 34-of-34 on extra points in 2013.

15. Samson Satele, Colts C: Was released by the team on March 6 after a disappointing 2013 season. He has started 98 of 102 games during his seven-year career.

Free-agency primer: Titans

March, 7, 2014
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video
» AFC Free-Agency Primer: East | West | North | South » NFC: East | West | North | South

Key free agents: CB Alterraun Verner, DE Ropati Pitoitua, KR Leon Washington, WR Damian Williams, DT Antonio Johnson, WR Kenny Britt.

Where they stand: The Titans re-signed outspoken, thumping strong safety Bernard Pollard, one of their most important free agents, with a two-year deal. He has spoken glowingly about the direction the team will head under coach Ken Whisenhunt and defensive coordinator Ray Horton. "We're going to be 11 dogs without leashes running around biting people," Pollard told a Nashville radio station 3HL. They also re-signed third-string running back Jackie Battle, who’s a staple special-teamer. It’s hard to know how other people project into the new systems that come along with a new coaching regime. The Titans have indicated to everyone on that list, beside Britt, that they are interested. But will the interest translate into new contracts?

What to expect: The Titans will wind up with a couple of their own guys back, though they are not desperate to keep anyone on the list. Verner is very likely to hit the market and find a team that puts a higher price tag on him than the Titans will. I believe Pitoitua can be a valuable piece of the new hybrid front, particularly in the run-stopping effort. Washington can bring a secure feeling to the return game. Williams is a smart and versatile fourth wide receiver, but there is a giant pool of free-agent wideouts and a quality draft class, so he'll need to settle for minimal money if he wants to stay and they want to have him. The team won't spend $100 million in free agency, as it did last year, but will make several key additions.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Bill Polian had great success as general manager of the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts.

Now as an ESPN analyst, working with a scouting team of Gary Horton, Matt Williamson and Field Yates, Polian has rated players about to be free agents just like he would have as a team executive.

They have produced this board Insider.

The Tennessee Titans' top free agent, cornerback Alterraun Verner, gets a B-minus grade.

Verner
The group rates him as elite in production and neutral in speed, injury and character. I think Verner should rate as elite in character.

The full write-up:
Verner may not have top-end size or speed, but he is an excellent starting-level cornerback who plays with terrific toughness and a willingness to be physical. He has the strength and balance to be physical at or near the line of scrimmage without losing his feet with very good ball skills and on-ball production and an understanding of opposing route concepts. He lacks the elite short-area quickness and burst to match up against slot receivers but can ably handle perimeter cornerback duties. He is good at the point of catch, playing his technique through the catch and disrupting receivers. At age 25 and playing a premium position, he could cash in on the open market above this grade level.

A "B" grade translates in Polian’s eyes to $2 to $6 million in annual average value with two years or fewer of guaranteed money.

Only Tarell Brown of the 49ers, Terry Porter of the Raiders and Aqib Talib of the Patriots have higher grades among cornerbacks.

They are all "Bs".
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Did the Titans get their money’s worth in 2013?

Michael Mountford of Pro Football Focus thinks not.

He looks at how players performed last season according to PFF’s grades, and measures that against their prices using the site’s "Jahnke Value Model" to determine who outperformed their cost and who underperformed.

Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, cornerback Alterraun Verner and Kendall Wright were the best values. That’s no surprise as they were three of the team’s best players. Verner is about to become a free agent.

Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is also on the positive side of the ledger.

On the negative side are three guys unlikely to return -- running back Chris Johnson, right tackle David Stewart and defensive end Kamerion Wimbley.

It leads us to an unsurprising conclusion: The Titans are going to need to pay their top people soon, and they need to part ways with some overpaid elements of their roster.

RTC: How Titans' free agents rank

February, 26, 2014
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Reading the coverage of the Tennessee Titans…

Alterraun Verner ranks 11th on this extensive free agent board from Evan Silva of Rotoworld. Kenny Britt is 112th, Ropati Pitoitua is 136th, Damian Williams 145th, Bernard Pollard 150th.

To which I say: If Silva's rating of Pollard reflects the league, the Titans might have an easier time retaining him than some of us expect.

The Titans drafted 2.5 percent better than the league average from 2004 to 2008, according to Jon Bois of SB Nation. This is an interesting piece evaluating how the league has drafted overall, based on how guys have developed.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter talked about the state of the Titans with Amie Wells of the team’s website. (Video.)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If the Titans lose Alterraun Verner as a free agent, it shouldn’t set off a panic attack.

As much difficulty as the team has had solving personnel problems at quarterback and on the offensive line, at pass rusher and linebacker, it’s a franchise that’s shown a quality ability to scout, draft and develop cornerbacks.

ESPN.com Patriots reporter Mike Reiss pointed out the Titans' success in this department on Sunday.

Since major headache Pacman Jones was drafted sixth overall in 2005, the Titans have drafted nine cornerbacks.



Five of them are solid NFL players, two of them still have the jury out and two of them busted.

If the team had a similar record at more positions, they’d be in a lot better shape.

And if Verner leaves, which I suspect he will, fans should have a reasonable amount of hope the Titans will be able to replace him.

Ask yourself, were you upset when Finnegan left for St. Louis? Because it was his departure that created room and opportunity for Verner.

Franchise/transition tags: Titans

February, 17, 2014
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As good as Alterraun Verner was in 2013, it’s hard to imagine the Titans would view him as being worth the salary that will be tied to the franchise or transition tags for a cornerback.

Monday is the start of the window during which the teams can apply tags to pending free agents. Each team can use only one.

Verner
Verner had a cap number of $1.454 million in 2013, the fourth and final year of his rookie contract.

Last year, the franchise-tag number for cornerbacks was $10.854 million, and the transition tag was $9.095 million.

A franchise tag means the player gets that salary guaranteed for one season. If another team signs him to an offer sheet and his current team doesn’t match it, his original team gets two first-round picks as compensation. That’s an exorbitant price.

A transition tag means the player gets that salary guaranteed for one season. If another team signs him to an offer sheet and his current team doesn’t match it, there is no compensation involved.

Verner was very productive in 2013, with five interceptions -- including one returned for a touchdown -- as well as 26 passes defensed and the eighth-most tackles on the team (73).

He’s got a knack for the ball and a great feel for where it will be heading, but he doesn’t have the speed or the size (he’s 5-foot-10, 186 pounds) teams expect from a top cornerback who’s getting top price.

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean recently reported there has been minimal movement between Verner and the Titans. The two sides are expected to talk at the scouting combine in Indianapolis later this week.

I think the Titans value Verner and will make a fair offer.

But come March 11 and the start of free agency, I expect at least one other team will value him more and the Titans will be turning to Coty Sensabaugh or Blidi Wreh-Wilson as their No. 2 cornerback.

RTC: Results after coaching changes

February, 12, 2014
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Reading the coverage of the Tennessee Titans…

In the last five years, 22 of the 37 head coaching changes resulted in more wins the first season under the new coach than in the previous one. David Boclair of the Nashville Post looks at all sorts of numbers regarding teams under new head coaching in the recent past.

Assessing the tackles and analyzing the guard play with Tom Gower of Total Titans.

Nate Davis of USA Today ranks the top 25 free agents-to-be, and has Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner at number 12, with a best fit in Oakland.

Local guys the Titans will see at the NFL scouting combine, from Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Photos of the best plays of 2013 from the team’s web site.

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