INDIANAPOLIS – The teams that have contacted the New York Giants have the impression of trying to trade with linebacker Olivier Vernon, sources told ESPN.
Vernon is expected to earn $ 15.5 million this season. His current contract is two years old and $ 31 million is left.
If the Giants do not get an agreement, they could potentially remove Vernon after finding a franchise replacement. They work well. Finding a comparable player might not be so easy. Although it is a powerful group of free runners, most of them should stay with their current teams, either by franchise label or by a long-term contract.
Vernon led the Giants last season with 7 sacks and 21 quarterback hits in 11 games. This was more than twice as many quarterback hits than any other player in the team.
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Using the franchise tag to keep the safety of a young Pro Bowl seems like a wise decision, but its price and fit may not be perfect for New York.
Injuries have been Vernon's main problem since signing a five-year contract worth $ 84.75 million, as the quintessential free agent for the 2016 off season. He missed nine games during the past two seasons due to various injuries. This after playing 16 games each of his first five years in the league.
Giants have several options with Vernon. They could cut it and save $ 11.5 on the salary cap, but that would leave a huge gap on their defense. They finished last season tied for 30th in the NFL with 30 sacks.
Negotiating Vernon would also allow the Giants to save $ 11.5 million against the salary cap. An exchange or release would leave them both with a cap of $ 8 million in dead money.
Vernon is in his seventh professional season and third with the Giants. He spent the first four years of his career with the Miami Dolphins and has 51 career bags in 103 games.