The New York Giants reportedly have traded linebacker Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns for guard Kevin Zeitler.
On Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport of NFLcom, the Giants have traded their Pro Bowl veteran pass-rusher to the Cleveland Browns. In return, Big Blue has received veteran guard Kevin Zeitler.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 8, 2019
The Giants have also given the Browns their fourth-round selection (132nd overall) in the upcoming NFL Draft, and in return received Cleveland’s fifth-round pick (155th overall).
It’s a solid move for the Giants. After signing Vernon to a five-year, $85 million deal prior to the 2016 season, Vernon just hasn’t been as productive as his value would make you assume.
After posting a career-high in tackles with 63 in 2016, Vernon’s productivity and health have simply dropped off. He only played in 12 and 11 games in 2017 and 2018, respectively. He only racked up 37 tackles in 2017 and then 30 in 2018.
Vernon was just too expensive for the Giants, and it was time for the saga to end once and for all. Good luck to him in Cleveland, but his time in blue surely should be forgotten.
This will now be the third team Zeitler has been on thus far in his still-young career. The 29-year old was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin. He spent the first five years (2012-2016) as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. He was selected to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team in 2012.
Zeitler spent the last two seasons as a member of the Browns and will now join a Giants team that’s looking to improve their offensive line play from last year. Zeitler will be working alongside veteran left tackle Nate Solder as well as 2018 second round pick guard Will Hernandez.
The Giants offensive line was tied for 22nd in the NFL in 2018 with 47 sacks allowed.