Green Bay Packers: Potential roster cut additions in free agency
By Kenn Korb
Alterraun Verner (CB; TB)
If Green Bay doesn’t want to add players they already let go of once before, maybe checking in on some other decent talents who’ve hit the market could be a decent option.
Verner hasn’t ever been a particularly great cornerback, relying more on having a good scheme to allow him to succeed. When that scheme is working well and not forcing too much responsibility upon him however, he has done a fine job.
In four seasons with the Titans, he never graded below a 79.2 (or, the high end of average) in terms of PFF’s grading metrics. Those years, he was aligned with another good cornerback (Jason McCourty); with him not being forced to always guard the best opposing receiver, he could do a good job. In Tampa Bay, he didn’t really have that, and his play suffered: he dropped from 11 INTs in four Tennessee seasons to just 4 in his three years with Tampa Bay, and his PFF grades never rose above 76.7 with the Buccaneers.
In Green Bay, the situation would be much closer to what he saw in Tampa Bay, but he could still be effective. Even if he’s just average that outperforms what the position fielded in 2016, and if another corner on the team (Randall/Rollins/Gunter/Draft Pick X) can step up, a decent (though flawed) one-two punch could be formed on the outside.
Alternative Option: Brandon Flowers (CB; PHI)
Flowers is a bit of a different case, one the Packers may be afraid to gamble on.
As a player, he’s been able to reach much higher peaks than Verner (from 2009-2012, he was an elite contributor for Kansas City), but he’s struggled in recent years. He’s fluctuated between above average to awful since 2013, and his limitations in man coverage have had a spotlight shined heavily on them at times.
The bigger concern would be his own concussion issues; he’s been on the injury reports for concussions 11 different weeks across the past three seasons, including 8 weeks this past year which eventually put him on IR. Since the Packers just released a quality-when-healthy cornerback for that same issue, it would seem strange to bring in a guy who has similar concerns.
If the Packers do bring him in, it’d be a risk for sure, but were he to stay healthy he’d be an instant upgrade who still might have some #1 cornerback ability left in him.