While the Browns have been looking around at potential options for another pass rusher opposite Myles Garrett, the team has reportedly re-structured the contract of defensive end Olivier Vernon.
According to Field Yates of ESPN, the two sides agreed to re-structure the final year of Vernon’s contract that didn’t have any guaranteed money initially to now guarantee him $11 million including a $7 million signing bonus along with a $3.75 million base salary, a $250,000 workout bonus and a potential $2 million bonus if Vernon hits certain incentives this upcoming season.
The 29-year-old was acquired last offseason by the Browns in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade with the New York Giants and the hope was that he’d be a complimentary sidekick to Myles Garrett.
Now while he didn’t put up the big numbers his contract expects him to make (3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble in ten games), Vernon is disruptive when you deep dive into the advanced statistics (17 pressures and 11 QB hits per Pro Football Reference) and his 86.3 grade by Pro Football Focus since 2016 ranks 21st among pass rushers so while he doesn’t put up the big numbers, Vernon is extremely effective when on the field.
Vernon did miss six games last season with a knee injury so the durability is a question mark heading into the 2020 season. With the additions of Adrian Clayborn and the hope that Porter Gustin could potentially take a leap behind the veteran group, it’s up to Vernon to stay healthy and hopefully continue making a big contribution to the Browns this upcoming season.
It would also appear that since they’ve guaranteed money in his contract, this would take the Browns out of the running to sign any free agent pass rusher including Jadeveon Clowney, who the team has been linked to throughout the offseason.