Every potential free agent signing comes with it’s fair share of risk. After all, as the saying goes - ‘there’s a reason they’re a free agent in the first place’. Former Charger corner Jason Verrett brings plenty of risk with him, but potential upside as well.
Weight: 175 lbs
Experience: 6th year
Verrett was drafted in 2014 by the Chargers just a few picks before Bradley Roby went to Denver. Of the corners in that draft, I actually liked Verrett better than most and wanted Denver to take him, but the Chargers beat them to it. In the end, it worked out better for the Broncos because, although Verrett outplayed Roby when on the field, he was never able to stay on it.
Which brings us to where we are today. Verrett is now a free agent after missing the 2018 season on his 5th year option.
Why this makes sense
Let’s look at the positives first. Denver is thin in the secondary, and is in desperate need of corners. Verrett, while a few years away from his best season, was one of the top corners in football in 2015, and earned a Pro Bowl berth for his efforts.
Verrett was one of the top ranked corners by Pro Football Focus that season, and despite his size, was a lockdown player on the outside.
Why this doesn’t make sense
Verrett could very likely never play another snap of football again after all the injuries he has sustained. Since being drafted in 2014, he has:
- Battled a torn labrum and rotator cuff tear (which he came into the NFL with from his last year at TCU),
- Had a partial tear of his ACL in 2016 which ended his season after four games,
- Was sent to injured reserve for the rest of 2017 when the same knee began bothering him again in the first game of the year.
- Finally, when it looked like he was going to come back healthy for the first time in two years, he tore his Achilles tendon during a conditioning test at the start of the 2018 off-season.
While some of his injuries could potentially be chalked up to really bad luck, it’s hard to see Verrett making it through the rigors of a full NFL season after all he’s been through. Since being drafted, he has only appeared in 25 games in five years.
However, he is still only 27 years old, and will have had nearly a year to rehab his Achilles by the time training camp starts.
Not every free agent signing has to be a slam dunk, splashy move. With his injury history, I doubt the market will be very hot for Verrett, so I would be on board with Denver bringing him in on a very cheap, zero risk one-year deal to give him a chance at staying healthy and getting back on the field.
These are the kind of moves that have hardly any risk, and potential for a big reward if they pan out. Although, if it were to happen, it would have to be treated as just that - a massive risk. The team should not count on Verrett to be an answer at corner, or even make the roster, but it’s worth a shot, in my opinion.
Should the Broncos target Jason Verrett in free agency?
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