Olivier Vernon, DE
Toward the end of December, there weren’t many who believed Olivier Vernon would be on the Cleveland Browns entering 2020.
The Browns flirted with Jadeveon Clowney, which furthered the belief the organization would cut Vernon at some point.
But then, the Browns re-negotiated Vernon’s contract. Instead of paying $15 million, they’ll gamble $11 million that he can stay healthy and be a productive pass rusher opposite Myles Garrett. Vernon’s new deal ended any chance of Clowney joining the team, as Andrew Berry signaled the organization was ready to move forward with what they have.
Vernon is the last year of a contract, and he’ll hit free agency this winter, meaning he needs to stay healthy so he can put up numbers. Big offers just won’t be there for a 30-year-old who hasn’t played a full season since 2016.
If he’s healthy, he should be productive, as Pro Football Focus was actually very kind to veteran when he was healthy enough to play.
But this a big season for Vernon, not only in helping the Browns’ defense, but for the future of his NFL career.