Bucs to release cornerback Alterraun Verner
The Bucs are releasing veteran cornerback Alterraun Verner, who was due to make $6.5-million this season but had fallen into a backup role behind Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves.
Verner, 28, came to the Bucs in free agency in 2014 and started 14 games, but was limited to six starts in 2015 and three last season. The Bucs take no salary-cap hit for releasing him, and Verner gets a head start on free agency, which begins in two weeks.
"I would like to thank the Glazers, Jason Licht, Dirk (Koetter) and Lovie (Smith) for allowing me the opportunity to compete as a Buccaneer these past three years," Verner wrote in a post on Instagram. "I have learned so much over these years and i appreciate everything that they have done for me. I will miss my teammates, the community, and the fans for their support of me as a player and personally. You guys always had my backs. Sorry that we couldnt have succeeded more with my time there but there are great times ahead in Tampa Bay."
The former Pro Bowl cornerback had one of the most emotional moments of the Bucs' season when he came up with a key interception against Russell Wilson in the Bucs' upset win against Seattle, just two days after his father had died while visiting family.
The Bucs have limited depth at cornerback now behind Grimes and Hargreaves, with second-year player Ryan Smith as a backup after spending last year mostly at safety. Third-year pro Jude Adjei-Barimah and second-year pro Javien Elliott, who worked as the team's nickel defensive back last season, are also back for 2017.