The Cleveland Browns have reportedly worked out a new deal with veteran defensive end Olivier Vernon.
The renegotiated contract, which provides Vernon with $11 million in guaranteed money, was first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates:
The Browns and DE Olivier Vernon have agreed to a renegotiated contract, per source. Vernon, previously due $15.25M non-guaranteed, gets $11M guaranteed through a $7M signing bonus, $3.75M base salary and a $250K workout bonus, plus $2M more available via incentives.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 7, 2020
The restructured deal also includes an agreement that the Browns will not tag Vernon, which means he will be a free agent after the upcoming season, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:
The #Browns and Olivier Vernon agreed to a restructured contract that fully guarantees him $11 million this year — including a $4M signing bonus and $6.75M salary — plus up to $2M in incentives and a no-tag clause that ensures he’s a free agent next March, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 7, 2020
It has been speculated for months that the Browns would sign free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and cut Vernon due to the fact that his salary was not guaranteed. But with Clowney dragging his feet despite interest from the Browns, general manager Andrew Berry apparently decided it was time to move on.
The Browns acquired Vernon prior to the 2019 season via a trade with the New York Giants. While some fans claimed that Vernon was a disappointment because he only had 3.5 sacks in his first season with the Browns, he is still a solid player as he has posted an overall grade of 86.6 from Pro Football Focus since 2016. The analytics site also selected Vernon and fellow defensive end Myles Garrett as the league’s second-best pair of edge defenders in the league heading into the 2020 season.
The biggest concern about Vernon is his availability as he has missed a combined 15 games over the past three seasons.