The Giants spending spree on defense continued earlier this week with the signing of Olivier Vernon. Vernon, formally of the Miami Dolphins gives the Giants an edge passer rusher they were so desperately seeking.
During his time in Miami, Vernon amassed 29 sacks including a career high 11.5 half sacks in 2013. However, Vernon has had only 13 sacks combined in the last two years. A lot of people point to Vernon's lack of production in the sack department as a reason why the Giants deal with him is a gamble. New York will be paying Vernon $85 million over five years, or $17 million per season.
While the criticism is understandable, considering that Vernon is not exactly the most elite pass rusher in the league, he is a guy who has made a living getting to the quarterback and disrupting offenses. Not to mention, the Giants get extremely lucky getting a player who is only 25 years old.
On one hand, Vernon has a lot of good football ahead of him, and he hasn't even reached his prime. If Steve Spagnulo can get something out of the former third round draft pick that would be huge obviously for this Giants team. That being said many will point to the fact that Vernon being so young and willfully let go by the Dolphins could be a warning sign.
Regardless of the debate the Giants needed to fill the position. They desperately needed an edge rusher, and if you look at the numbers from last year, the Giants had only 23 sacks as a team, with defensive tackle Robert Ayers leading the way with 9.5. The next closest Giant to Ayers was Cullen Jenkins with three sacks. Both of these players are down lineman. The Giants didn't have an edge rusher who could get to the quarterback.
While it is a lot of money, if it works out, it will be well worth it for the Giants.