The New York Post’s Brian Costello shares another name in which the Jets are apparently interested:
Bent, TheJetsBlog.comOn the basis of the posts we’ve been making recently, Verner would be a popular target with many Jets fans. He’s one of the top-rated cornerbacks on the free agent market and would fill a void if Antonio Cromartie becomes a cap casualty, as many expect.
The 25-year old Verner is an instinctive, intelligent player with good technique who had a breakout year in 2013. He was tied for the AFC lead in interceptions and named a second team all-pro. Verner has primarily just played right cornerback in Tennessee rather than tracking the opposing team’s number one receiver and is not ideally built to play press coverage as often required in Rex Ryan’s system. However, he’s a rising star and well-respected around the league.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comWant a deep dive on Verner? This article by Mike Tanier is your starting and ending point. The Jets, Vikings and Rams are the three teams known to be interested in Verner right now. While Verner is a solid coverage corner, by his own admission he is still learning how to play aggressive cornerback more aggressively and any team who tries to plunk him down on the right side of the formation and expects good things in run support won’t be pleased. Of course Rex Ryan is smart enough to work around those issues, but let’s be clear Verner is no Revis.
Cimini added that he thinks this is a “contingency” plan and that the call was “due diligence” for the Jets should a contract restructure fall apart with Cromartie … but I would contend that is backwards. Brent Grimes got $8 million per year. Sam Shields just scored a $39 million four year deal from the Packers. Verner has made it clear that he is willing to be reasonable but not offering up discounts, so inquiring about a 26 year old who could realistically field $10 million average-per-year doesn’t seem like a fall-back due diligence option. Freeing up $9.5 million by cutting Cro loose means that (assuming Verner gets $10 million on average) the difference would be insignificant with as much space as they have. Even if signing Verner might be a pipe dream for the Jets, it has more the feel of a far-fetched plan, with Cromartie representing the contingency.