Two of the top defensive backs on the NFL market weren’t there for long, as Alterraun Verner and Jairus Byrd each signed contracts hours after free agency officially opened Tuesday.
Verner agreed to a four-year, $26 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Byrd inked a six-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.
SiriusXM NFL Radio analyst Bill Polian was a fan of both signings.
“The ideal Cover-2 corner,” Polian said of Verner. “Very smart, good tackler, good run-force guy. He’s got the ability to turn the ball over – that’s highly prized by [Lovie Smith], by any of us that worked with that defense. Turnovers are the key, and he can do it. […] That’s a great signing and Lovie continues to put the pieces in place exactly as you should for that defense.”
“I think that’s the ideal for for New Orleans because in [Rob] Ryan’s defense, they need a guy back there who’s a ball hawk,” Polian said. “Not that Byrd is Ed Reed, but he has some of the same instincts that Ed Reed does. So if you think of Ed Reed, this is a poor man’s Ed Reed.”
Later, Polian spoke with Verner, who explained his decision to sign a deal with the Bucs.
Stay up to date with all of the movement in free agency with SiriusXM NFL Radio, and for a breakdown of what to expect in the coming days, watch Nick Kostos’ NFL free agency preview videos.