Browns, Olivier Vernon Rework Contract

Olivier Vernon is staying put. The Browns worked out a new deal with the defensive end to turn his $15.25MM non-guaranteed pact into $11MM guaranteed with the potential to earn an additional $2MM via incentives (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com). 

[RELATED: Raiders Enter Jadeveon Clowney Mix]

Vernon’s guarantees come in the form of a $3.75M base salary, $7MM signing bonus, and a $250K workout bonus. The new deal also ensures that he’ll be eligible for free agency following the 2020 season. Vernon now has a “no-tag” clause, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter), giving him an opportunity to cash in all over again.

The Browns have been in talks with Jadeveon Clowney for months, but they’re now poised to stick with Vernon as their starting DE, opposite Myles Garrett. Last we heard, Clowney rejected the Browns’ offer of a one-year deal in the $15MM range. Instead of bumping the offer up towards Clowney’s $17-$18MM asking price, they’ve retained Vernon for far less.

Vernon posted just 3.5 sacks last year, but the advanced metrics were fairly fond of his work. And, before Vernon came to Cleveland, he managed 22 sacks over the course of three years with the Giants, despite a good deal of missed games. In his last Giants campaign, he averaged four pressures per contest – the Browns would be very happy with a reprise of that in 2020.

There’s now one less landing spot for Clowney, though Jon Gruden and the Raiders have reportedly come into the mix. Meanwhile, Clowney is far from the only big-name DE on the open marketEverson Griffen, Markus Golden, Ezekiel Ansah, and Michael Bennett are still available for teams in need of edge help.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Browns, Olivier Vernon Rework Contract

  1. JJB0811

    That’s the right decision by the Browns. Lock down the position for this year and address it next offseason.

  2. RockHauler

    Good for you Vernon! The Browns are paying you $15.25MM and hoping to get 4 pressures per game from you. Even with Garrett on the other side battling double teams?
    How many times have I seen OV, battle to get upfield and either the QB steps up and avoids any pressure at all or he is so out of position trying to run around the OT that the draw to the RB goes right into the hole he left for a big gain. Ahh, the good old days of watching OV!
    Wow, the expectations have become so low in sports while the salaries continue to skyrocket for mediocre production.

  3. Michael Chaney

    Translation: Clowney overplayed his hand again and the Browns got tired of waiting around. Have fun going back to Seattle for $8 million.

  4. jb19

    Did Vernon really negotiate a no tag clause? I don’t think Vernon would have gotten near $11MM in the open market. So he did well for himself. Browns just happy they don’t have to pay him $15MM and he’s still on the team.

  5. mdunkel

    I can hear Clowney now when he signs for $7 million on a 1 year. “ This is where I always wanted to be”.

  6. Ak185

    If Clowney’s price goes down again (which it should), he might just end up with the Titans. Seemingly he preferred them or the Ravens, but neither had the interest in paying upwards of $16 million. Plus the Ravens have several young players already that they’d like to see produce on the field like Bowser and Ferguson.

    Would the Giants, another one of Clowney’s reported preferences, get frustrated with Williams and meet a lower contract price from Clowney? It’d be smarter seemingly, but they’d have to admit that the Williams trade was a bust. Would the Cowboys, another preference, drop their Dak negotiations to sign a cheaper Clowney?

    The last offer on the table is the Seahawks, which would allow him to stay put in a familiar scheme, but the Seahawks currently are not really a sack-friendly team. Maybe Clowney doesn’t like that aspect, or maybe he’s iffy on playing on a one year deal for an average price, because Seattle seems like the fit otherwise. If not, he’ll have to lower his price. Either way, the only sure bet i’ll make is that Jadeveon signs after the July 15th tag deadline.

    • Jcool90

      Yessir Bowser and Ferguson see what they can do. Judons gone sucks but we can’t keep em all. Need that o line and Andrew’s back along with Marlon for the future. Ours is looking bright and gotta lock up Lamar Jackson, plus Browns in few yrs. Ronnie is important one blind side baby. Go baltimore this yrs SB CHAMPS if we play lol. But gotta win playoffs game first!!!

  7. Ak185

    I’m pretty Judon signed his tag, no? Either way, yeah, the Ravens’ future is going to depend on the defensive and offensive fronts. AFC North is gonna be good next year, Baltimore should be fun to watch. Lamar has a ways to go, but he seems to improve every year and seems to be a good leader with a good head on his shoulders. Good luck, my friend!

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