Olivier Vernon has signed a massive five-year, $85 million deal with the New York Giants, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. The deal also includes a massive $52.5 million in guarantees. Vernon became a free agent on Wednesday morning when the Miami Dolphins rescinded the transition tag placed on him a week prior, and it didn't take long for the defensive end to find a new home.
The Giants made the signing official on Thursday.
Vernon, 25, was due to receive $12.734 million on a one-year deal with the Dolphins under the transition tag, but other teams still had the opportunity to make an offer that Miami would have the chance to match. With several teams interested in making an offer that would be difficult for the Dolphins to match, the team instead elected to remove the tag so it would receive a compensatory pick for losing a player it was likely to lose regardless.
That sent the young pass rusher to the open market where multiple teams reportedly pursued him, but it was ultimately the Giants that landed Vernon.
The Giants now have a projected starting defensive line that includes Vernon, another recent signing in Damon Harrison, Johnathan Hankins and Jason Pierre-Paul. The NFC East is not a strong division, and the Giants are making a play to take control of it.
Vernon was a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and had his best statistical season a year later when he racked up 11.5 sacks in 2013. While he finished 2015 with 7.5 sacks, it's easy to make the argument that it was his most impressive showing, with Pro Football Focus calling his jump from 2014 to 2015 "colossal."