Giants considering trading linebacker Olivier Vernon

Print

The New York Giants are currently at an impasse with Landon Collins, but could Big Blue soon be parting ways with a different Pro Bowl defender?

The Giants have discussed the possibility of trading linebacker Olivier Vernon, sources told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo on Friday.

If New York sends Vernon on his way, the organization will be cutting bait on one of the biggest signings in franchise history. Just three years ago, the Giants shelled out an $85 million contract over five years for the then-Dolphins pass rusher.

In East Rutherford, Vernon hasn't quite lived up to his monster contract, but has been a solid addition, totaling 22 sacks and 319 tackles in 49 games over three seasons. Injury wise, he missed nine games over the last two years with ankle issues.

Vernon, 28, still has two years left on his deal and is owed over $30 million in base salary over those last seasons.

It remains to be seen what Vernon's market would be. Pass rushers are always at a premium, but there seems to be a surplus of free-agent options or draft prospects available this offseason (Trey Flowers, Frank Clark, Preston Smith, Ezekiel Ansah; Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Rashan Gary, Devin White).

The last big-name linebacker to be traded was Khalil Mack, who was worth more than two first-round picks to the Bears. Vernon does not have Mack's credentials and is not up for a new mega-deal like the All-Pro LB, but last year's Bears-Raiders swap could be a point of reference.

In terms of trading edge rushers, the Jaguars sent defensive end Dante Fowler to the Rams at the trade deadline for a third-rounder and a fifth-rounder. That could be more realistic compensation.

If the Giants don't locate a trade market for Vernon, they could always cut him. New York would take on just $8 million in dead money if it chose to release Vernon.

Print