The New York Giants made a lot of moves this offseason, some of them good and some of them bad, and one of the most publicized was the trade that sent outside linebacker Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for offensive guard Kevin Zeitler. The Giants are looked at by many as having won the trade – after all, Vernon had few fans in New York by the time he was sent to Cleveland, stemming from his slow returns from injury and his underperformance once on the field.
It doesn’t look like there’s any regrets, though, from Vernon himself, who was soon joined in Cleveland by fellow Giant Odell Beckham Jr. after a second deal was made not long after the first.
“They know what I bring to the table. They say you’re going to get what you paid for, so they’re going to get what you traded for,” Vernon said about his new organization, according to Cleveland.com. And when the team made the move to bring in Vernon’s teammate Beckham, he came to believe that the Browns have something that a lot of fans have accused the Giants of botching: a plan.
“OK, all right, they’ve got a plan,” Vernon said of the Browns. “You feel it from the coaches, you feel it from the front office. Dorsey, he’s got a plan. I spoke to him a few times, and I just like what I heard from him as far as his vision. It’s been a lot of rough years for the Browns. It can only last so long. All we’ve got to do right now, we’ve got the plan set up, we’ve just got to execute it.”
Browns GM John Dorsey is definitely rated higher than the Giants’ Dave Gettleman, with Dorsey turning his team into one that is expected to contend for the AFC after joining them in 2017. Gettleman, on the other hand, joined the Giants one year later but fans are still waiting for the signs that things will indeed get better rather than worse over the next few years.
Of course, Dorsey might have made one mistake recently by valuing Vernon highly enough to trade one of the team’s top lienemen for him. Vernon did finish last season with seven sacks, but was late in getting onto the field and only played in eleven games because of a slow time recovering from injury. Vernon, who is considered at this point to be an injury prone player, had his second worst season ever in terms of total tackles, finishing with only 30.
That’s less than half the amount Vernon had in 2016, the year when he registered 8.5 sacks and the Giants made it into the playoffs most recently, partly because of a strong defense.
Dorsey may indeed have a stronger plan than Gettleman, but it will be no surprise if Vernon’s participation in that plan ends up being underwhelming, based on his performances in the last two years and the way things ended in New York for the pass rusher.