New York Giants Olivier Vernon
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

New York Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon reflects on the 2018 season, looks to improve his game for the future.

When the New York Giants signed linebacker Olivier Vernon to a five-year, $85 million deal prior to 2016, many thought Big Blue got their pass rusher for the future.

However, Vernon, for the most part, has underperformed. He’s been injured here and there, and just hasn’t put up the numbers the Giants have hoped for.

However, Vernon this past year had 7.5 sacks and 21 hits on the quarterback through 11 games. He was sidelined for the first five games of the regular season due to an ankle injury sustained during the preseason.

This gave Vernon his first career Pro Bowl honors, as he replaced injured Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack.

Vernon spoke to Dan Salomone of earlier this week about getting back on the field after his early-season injury.

“If I’m out there, I’m out there,” Vernon said. “Just one thing is you’ve got to get your legs back after being away from football for a little bit, but all I could do is come out there and try to make plays for the team and try to contribute.”

Despite the Pro Bowl nod, the possibility of the Giants trading or releasing Vernon this offseason still lingers. Vernon doesn’t even think about that though. He just looks to keep improving his game after the Giants 5-11 campaign in 2018.

“I feel like for everybody else on the team [the offseason is the time] to get back down, lick the wounds that they have, and just trying to get back to their baseline of feeling good and basically mentally preparing themselves again for the next upcoming season,” Vernon said. “Be positive and hit the reset button, back to square one.”

The Giants just released linebacker Connor Barwin on Monday after one disappointing season.

If they were to get rid of Vernon as well, we could very well see linebacker Lorenzo Carter get more reps on the field in 2019.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.