Oct 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) rushes against Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner (20) in the first quarter at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Most thought, if the Vikings were going to make a splash on day 1 of free agency, it would be at the cornerback position.
Turns out the Vikings did make a splash but it wasn’t at cornerback, it was at defensive tackle. Linval Joseph was the Vikings’ big day 1 signing, while the cornerback issue was left unaddressed.
The Vikings likely still will target a cornerback in the coming days, but they won’t be getting the player most fans had been hoping for.
Alterraun Verner was at the top of many fan wish lists, but the former Titans corner has instead signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Verner gets $26.5 million over four years with $14 million in guarantees to join Lovie Smith, Leslie Frazier and the whole operation down in Tampa Bay.
The Vikings were rumored over the weekend to be interested in Verner, who worked with new DB coach Jerry Gray when Gray was in Tennessee.
Verner got a healthy deal in Tampa but certainly not a ridiculous one when you compare it to what Sam Shields received to stay in Green Bay. This suggests that the market for Verner did not heat up quite as much as some people expected.
Verner’s scheme limitations may have played into this. Though he was rated highly on the free agent cornerback big board, many regard him as strictly a zone corner, and therefore less valuable on the open market than the more versatile corners.
With the Vikings switching to a less zone-centric defensive scheme under Mike Zimmer, it’s possible Verner was never seriously targeted by Minnesota.
As previously stated, the Vikings still will likely address cornerback in free agency. Among the options still on the table is the return of Chris Cook.