Will Vernon Improve His Production


The New York Giants have been known for defense as long as I can remember, especially pass rushers.   How do you think this website got its name?

Top 10 all time pass rushers (sacks) for the New York Giants spanning 35 years.

  • Michael Strahan – HOF
  • Lawrence Taylor – HOF
  • Leonard Marshall
  • Osi Umenyiora
  • Keith Hamilton
  • Justin Tuck
  • Jason Pierre Paul
  • George Martin
  • Mathias Kiwanuka
  • Carl Banks

The Giants have not made a difference in this sector in a long time.  Former Giants GM, Jerry Reese was pretty desperate toward the end of this career.  His failed draft picks continued to rear their ugly head, so in an attempt to save his job Jerry Reese signed free agent and former Miami Dolphin Defensive End, Olivia Vernon to a bank breaking contract.

And it seems the story kind of ends there.  There has been no bank breaking results, no game winning plays, no 85 Million dollar results.  One might say the Giants overpaid for an average defensive end who happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Vernon is a fun player to watch but it let it be noted that he has never had more than 10 sacks but one season (11.5).  Cameron Wake was the defensive end on the other side of Vernon in Miami. In the 4 years they played together, Vernon had 29 sacks (7.25 a season) while Wake bagged 42. (10.5 a season).  Wake only played in 7 games in 2015 before an Achilles Tendon tear.   He had 7 sacks, 1 per game. Vernon’s production needs to improve in 2018.

Vernon needs to finish:

A defensive end/LB has always been measured on “finishing”.  That’s what they get paid to do…finish.   If they don’t finish…who will?  The measurement stick has always been: Sacks, QB Hits, Tackles, Forced Fumbles, Fumble recoveries.  The notion of “pressures” is a joke.  The entire stat takes a marginal player and attaches metrics that all of a sudden makes the average guy look great, warranting a huge payday.  Why are we accepting this as currency?  Analytics are great and necessary to move the game forward, yet they are only half the story.   In some case like a DB these metrics can be vital.

A defensive end is “pressuring” the QB the moment the ball is snapped and the DE steps across the line of scrimmage.  The Giants are paying this guy top dollar to “almost” finish.  I hope the next time you’re up for a new job or promotion, I hope you get the bump in salary, the bump responsibility and the career growth you seek because you “almost” obtained your budget year after year, you “almost” completed your project, you “almost” passed your test…because you “almost” made a difference.

$52 million is guaranteed. Unless OV can step outside himself and find a new passion as hybrid DE/LB and pull down 14 to 15 sacks and 75 tackles, he could be a cap casualty in 2019 unless Vernon’s production can improve.