One of the few reasons that I enjoy writing about baseball more than football is that I can form my own opinion of a particular baseball player through watching him perform up close and personal on TV and through the plethora of advanced stats available at my disposal. I can’t do that with football with most positions.
I can form my own opinion about QBs and perhaps some running backs but that’s about it because the rest of the players are not on the screen for 90 percent of their game play. And for cornerbacks in particular, the only time they ARE on screen is when they are usually doing something badly (e.g. getting burnt covering a WR, committing pass interference etc…).
So I can only form my opinions on players through a combination of what “analysts” tell me. I mean, I get it, Darrelle Revis is REALLY good, Patrick Peterson is up and coming and Champ Bailey used to be the shining example of a “lockdown” corner. But beyond that? What do I know? What original observations can I possibly have?
That being said, I am pretty excited with the extension of CB Jason McCourty. McCourty and the Titans came to an agreement on a five-year, $43 million extension earlier today. That puts his average salary at $8.6 million per year.
Currently, that puts him as exactly the 10th highest paid CB in the league based on average salary. Now, as far as I can tell, the consensus opinion of McCourty around the NFL is that he is an effective CB but not elite. Not yet, at least. But he may get there and with salaries always rising, the newest contract will always look more expensive than it really is.
After a few more CBs sign over the next couple of years, McCourty’s contract will look less and less expensive. So, that’s what drives me to believe this a good signing.
In addition, I think McCourty is the head of a talented CB position. Alterraun Verner made a ton of big plays last season including a couple of key interceptions and the reports on him have been glowing. And Ryan Mouton had been coming on strong before missing last season with an injury. In today’s NFL, at least three and probably four corners should be considered starters with how much they will be on the field for their prospective team.
If the Titans want to compete in a pass-happy league, they HAVE to be able to rush the passer and cover wide receivers. This helps.