There’s been a lot of speculation that the New York Giants could move on from pass rusher Olivier Vernon, but that speculation is starting to turn into actual rumors from sources who are around the team. Mike Garafolo reported on Friday that the team is looking at options for a trade, which considering Vernon’s large contract, makes quite a lot of sense at this point.
The #Giants have discussed the possibility of trading LB Olivier Vernon, sources tell me and @RapSheet. The big score of free agency a few years ago, Vernon might have played his last down as a Giant.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 1, 2019
Vernon has the third highest cap hit on the team for 2019, but the large number hasn’t matched the amount of production that the team has gotten out of Vernon recently. Vernon has had trouble staying healthy and only played 11 games last season, finishing with only 30 tackles. It’s a drop from 37 tackles last season, and while 7 sacks wouldn’t be a terrible number for some players, the Giants roughly ended up paying $2.4M for each one of those sacks based on Vernon’s cap hit for the season.
After all, the Giants are also paying Vernon an amount that would be on par with players such as Jadeveon Clowney, who offer more production. There’s even players such as Dee Ford, who had an $8.7M cap hit but registered 13 sacks for the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2018 season. Of course, Ford was recently franchise tagged and will make more money this season, but last year’s numbers show the disconnect in production and salary for Olivier Vernon.
The current rumors, however, don’t include a specific team that would be interested in trading for Vernon. There’s a few teams in need of pass rushers, but it looks like Vernon’s value will be down right now, and it remains to be seen whether or not the Giants will be able to make a deal before the NFL Draft happens and the teams needing players at the position acquire them that way.
But right now, it really looks like Vernon could be off the team by the time next season rolls around, something that would have been a surprise a couple of years ago.