Over the last week, there have been several rumors surrounding New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon.
The New York Giants signed Olivier Vernon to a five-year, $85 million dollar contract in 2016 to help revamp a defense that finished dead last in 2015.
In his two seasons with Big Blue, he’s recorded 66 tackles, 15.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and one interception.
One of the rumors is how he and fellow defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will fit into defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s 3-4 defensive scheme.
Will they convert him and JPP into outside linebackers and have them be edge rushers? Or will they keep one of them at defensive end and have the other be the outside linebacker on the same side creating a dominant side of the defense al la what the Giants did in the 1980s and early 90s with Lawrence Taylor and Leonard Marshall.
Another rumor is that the Giants may look to trade Vernon and his hefty contract so that they can free up cap space to help rebuild their offensive line, and acquire players more accustom to playing in a 3-4 defense.
A possible suitor for Vernon would be the New England Patriots who ended last season with 39-year-old James Harrison as the team’s best pass rusher.
Another rumor that has been circulating over the past 24 hours is that with the Houston Texans set to cut linebacker Brian Cushing who has ties to the area from being a standout at Bergen Catholic, the Giants may cut Vernon and sign the 31-year-old Cushing to a much cheaper contract than the $17 million Vernon is set to make in 2018. This is the least likely scenario as according to Spotrac, cutting Vernon would leave the Giants with $12 million in dead money.
My prediction on Vernon is that the Giants keep him and move him to right outside linebacker and have JPP play left outside linebacker. Hopefully, the change in position will result in Vernon having his second double digit sack season of his career.
Other Giants Stories:
- Peter King of Sports Illustrated states there’s a growing belief that the Giants will be passing on a QB at No. 2.
- Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com speaks on James Bettcher and what his 3-4 scheme brings to the club.
- The pros and cons of drafting Josh Rosen, via Jason Leach of ESNY.
- Get to know the new Giants coaches, per Ryan Honey of ESNY.