The New York Giants have snagged another big fish as they undergo a total rebuild on defense.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the Giants have reached agreement on a contract with former Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
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The contract is a monster. Rapoport reported Vernon's new deal is worth $85 million over five years with a whopping $52.5 million in guarantees. Vernon tops freshly minted defensive tackle Malik Jackson, who got $42 million in guarantees in his deal with the Jaguars.
The Giants won out in a bidding war with those Jaguars for the services of Vernon, who had his transition tag rescinded by the Dolphins earlier Wednesday. Vernon had 7.5 sacks in 16 starts with the Dolphins last season and was ranked by analytics site ProFootballFocus.com as the top 4-3 defensive end in football.
The Giants have a suddenly formidable front four. Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul (re-signed Tuesday) will rush at the edges with huge tackles Damon Harrison (lured away from the Jets) and holdover Johnathan Hankins clogging up the middle. Earlier Wednesday, the Giants upgraded the back end of their defense with the signing of Janoris Jenkins, who is now the NFL's second-highest paid cornerback.
Did the Giants overpay for Vernon? Probably. The guaranteed money is a tick above what all-world defensive end J.J. Watt is getting in his current contract from the Texans. But the Giants were desperate to upgrade their terrible defense.
In the last 24 hours, they certainly have -- on paper anyway.