Opinion: Are the Jets serious about giving Alterraun Verner a big payday? It sure seems like it

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

In a little more than 24 hours, Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner has had interest from the Jets, Giants, Redskins, Vikings as well as some cursory interest from the Steelers and Lions.

In light of the news about the Jets cutting Antonio Cromartie Sunday afternoon, the circumstantial evidence on the Jets interest in Alterraun Verner might be building.

How so?

First, the team has made bolstering their cornerback depth a priority.  By getting Lankster and Walls to re-sign ahead of free agency, they locked down depth spots.  In addition, from what we hear, the team is working on re-signing cornerback Aaron Berry.

Berry was the cornerback who looked like he was on a fast track to win the slot cornerback spot during minicamps last year before blowing out his knee on the first day of training camp.  The team then placed Berry on the IR and made a glowing statement about his future with the Jets.  Now they are trying to bring him back to further bolster their depth.

Consider those signings the team’s efforts at mitigating risk at a key position.

Second, up until Sunday afternoon the Jets have not been connected in the media to a single safety in free agency.  Jairus Byrd? Nope.  TJ Ward? Nu uh.  Instead, the team contacted Verner (a guy who might earn the most lucrative deal in this year’s free agency) on Saturday before clearing cap room by cutting Antonio Cromartie in anticipation of what looks like might be a busy and cap intensive start of free agency on Tuesday.

Then there was this tweet from Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News regarding Alterraun Verner.

Whatever happens with Verner, the one thing that seems most probable is that Verner seems set to go where the money leads him.  He’s not worried about the team culture or how spotless the facilities are and inspecting it with his white glove, he is looking to get paid and go to a team he thinks suits him.

It’s hard to know exactly what to think about all this, but Florio hinted on PFT in this post that he thinks the Jets and Verner is already a done deal.  In addition, Florio believes that the notion of bringing back Cromartie is the team’s extremely loose backup plan.

So what do we know?  We do know that Rex Ryan has never placed a high value on the safety position from a money standpoint.

Since arriving in New York, Rex Ryan has (1) ran Kerry Rhodes out of town, (2) started Eric Smith extensively at the position and (3) went into the 2013 season with no real coverage safety.  While LaRon Landry was a godsend the year Revis was injured, the only real emphasis Ryan ever placed on the spot was when the team signed Jim Leonhard to an overinflated deal in an effort to import his system from Baltimore in 2009.

It has always been about cornerbacks for Rex Ryan and his GMs and as best we can tell, might be again in 2014.

What remains to be seen is, are the Jets the kind of team that are willing to spend top dollar for a free agent cornerback?  If the Jets were about to plunge into the safety pool, then I might be concerned about overspending at the cornerback spot and safety.  But with no revelations of any substantial interest between the Jets and players like Jairus Byrd or TJ Ward … it seems more likely that the Jets could save the big-spending team for a guy like Verner, especially now that they have cleared with one chop what could amount to more than ninety percent Verner’s first year salary.

The ramifications of the release and apparent moving on from Cromartie haven’t really been processed yet.  But one thing that we fully expect that many in the media will pick up in the coming days and weeks ahead if the Jets were to sign a youngster like Verner or a competent if not marginally rudderless veteran like Aqib Talib … what about the leadership in the secondary?  It’s a trope that is picked up each and every year by the media and one which would have serious claim this time around.

That’s where Ed Reed enters the picture.

Bringing Ed Reed back for another season solves many problems.  The Jets will likely be able to lure back a future Hall of Famer with strong ties to Rex Ryan.  Reed was a player that many of the younger guys in the Jets organization were enraptured with during the second half of the 2013 season and sought to learn from as much as possible.  Reed would represent a small investment financially for the Jets, likely on either a veteran minimum deal or for scarcely more.

For almost nothing financially, the Jets would retain a commanding veteran leader in the defensive backfield meeting room while increasing their depth and getting much younger and preferred secondary position.

The Jets might be playing it cool publicly, but I would not be the least bit surprised to see Idzik and Ryan swing for the fences with Verner.




85 comments
nickballs
nickballs

VERNER VERNER VERNER......LETS GO JETSNATION

green24
green24

My guess is that we have Verner, Howard, and Sanders locked up by Tuesday.

_BPP_
_BPP_

So, given everything we've seen with Idzik and the media: 

Tuesday, 4:01pm Jets sign Jairus Byrd

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

Rumor had it that Verner wants a 5 yr- 50 mil deal and now @EvrerydayJets is saying a 5 year deal is in place between the jets and Verner

a57se
a57se

I'm hoping for Davis or Brown at CB.......I think either one is a better fit for our Defense than Verner.


Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

Verner Whinter, and James Gayle in the 2nd round equals= Scary D

Brendan
Brendan

So Rashard Mendenhall is retiring. 

Sandra Rodriguez
Sandra Rodriguez

we need young blood, lets rebuild threw draft. jets need to look at NIGEL RIOS/CB/S/KR. this kid is a ball hawk,turn over machine,a play maker he's a steal in the late rd.film don't lie,somebody needs to send this film to,IDZIK/rex.. this kid is 3rd talent,just as good,as lamarcus joyner FLST,with better technic.his IQ makes up for his size.we talking about a young man that was commited, to Nebraska.,and recruited by,WV/VA, md,KANSAS,ST,ILLINOIS, BUT WENT TO ECSU D2. HES A HONEYBADGER'' TIM JENNINGS CLONE. idzik LETS SNACTH THIS KID IN LATE RD,JETS FANS WILL LOVE HIS STYLE OF PLAY'''' CAN WE GET THIS TREMENDOUS TALENT??????  pro day 3/27 ECU http://www.hudl.com/athlete/o/44750/higlights/103373377

a57se
a57se

Talk about speculation.....WOW.

Jesse Brand
Jesse Brand

Ok so we're at 31 mil if we cut mark and Holmes how much will we be at?

Mike Milea
Mike Milea

"Well, that's like... your opinion man..."

Dave Hohf
Dave Hohf

I'd say verner, Howard and Tate. Not sanders

Bent
Bent moderator

@_BPP_  It's not my first choice for what they should do from a football angle, but that would be kinda awesome.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Kyle Ely  I don't know who that is but it is ILLEGAL for the Jets to have a deal in place.  Say what he's heard is true, if EverydayJets is a Jets fan and the Jets have made a deal already, then they're risking a tampering charge and a loss of picks.  Not very helpful to your favorite team, is it?

Mike Milea
Mike Milea

@Brendan yea dude this really got my attention. So surprising. Does he really find himself to be that invaluable to a team. Maybe he has an opportunity at something else in life and he's going after it? As far as I'm concerned i think he's the best HB Arizona's got right now. Or did they release him? I haven't looked into it, but I feel like there should be more on this than there is. Very sudden and out of the blue.

Brendan
Brendan

@Jesse Brand  Jason from OTC Tweeted with the Cumby deal they're probably around $30.7 million, so with those two cuts they'd be about $47 million under the cap. 

Mike Milea
Mike Milea

Really? Not one like for this? Are you kidding?

_BPP_
_BPP_

@Bent

Maybe it's being spoiled by Revis and Good Cro, but Verner looks a bit limited and overrated to me. Byrd just seems to be a better FS than Verner is a CB.

Bent
Bent moderator

@green24 @_BPP_ @Bent  I'd go along with that, but I reckon a good CB has more impact than a very good free safety.

green24
green24

@_BPP_ @Bent  Byrd is a top 3 FS, so he probably is. Verner is more in the 7-10 range among CBs.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Disgruntled Jets Fan @JCuratola3 @Bent @Kyle Ely  Actually oral agreements can be legally binding in some circumstances.  The league was pretty clear though, no "agreements in principle" allowed until the league year begins.


It's all a farce because the first deals will be announced within the first hour or so.

maynardfan
maynardfan

Good for him...I wish him well. He seems very sharpe.

Jesse Brand
Jesse Brand

Yea 5 or 6 on sanders and 10 on byrd then 15 on draft picks genius

Brendan
Brendan

@Jesse Brand  Verner and Howard would bring it down to somewhere in the $30 million range, but that's still a solid amount still to work with. Idzik just has to spend each dollar carefully, and he seems like the type of person to do that. Should be fun come Tuesday.