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Buccaneers release CB Alterraun Verner, Buffalo Bills may be interested

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Alterraun Verner was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, and the Buffalo Bills could be interested in the 28-year-old cornerback because of two coaching ties and a need at cornerback.

Verner had one year remaining on the four-year, $26.5M deal he signed in 2014.

Current Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier coached Verner in 2014 and 2015 in Tampa Bay, when he was the team’s defensive coordinator.

Also, Buffalo’s new defensive backs coach Gil Byrd was the Buccaneers cornerbacks coach for those same two seasons.

The 5’10”, 180-pound corner made 75 tackles, defended nine passes, had two interceptions, and forced two fumbles in 2014 in 14 games. The following year, Verner made 53 tackles, had one pick, one forced fumble, four pass breakups and played the entire regular season.

In 2016, he appeared in 16 games but only made three starts. He made 12 tackles, had seven pass breakups, and snagged an interception.

Gordon McGuiness of Pro Football Focus wrote this about Verner after his first season in Tampa Bay:

“Alterraun Verner was our seventh-highest graded cornerback in 2014, so why is he just Good in our eyes? Well, his coverage grade (-0.8) was actually very average, with his run defense bringing his overall grade up. He was the best in the league against the run amongst cornerbacks, though.”

In 2015, Verner was PFF’s no. 95 cornerback out of 119.

Clearly, he isn't the player he was when he made the Pro Bowl with the Tennessee Titans in 2013.

But Verner has loads of experience in zone coverage and has been extremely durable as a pro. The former fourth-round pick out of UCLA has only missed two games in his seven-year career.

Athletically, Verner ran a 4.58 at the combine — not fast for a smaller corner — but his 6.70 three-cone drill is super quick. The similarly sized Ronald Darby’s three-cone time was 6.94.

Because of his familiarity with Frazier and Byrd, Verner very well could be on Doug Whaley’s radar as a good value, depth addition to the Bills secondary.