The trade includes a swap of players: the Browns will acquire Vernon while the Giants will receive offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, as well as a swap of trade picks - NY is sending a fourth-round pick (132nd overall), and Cleveland is sending a fifth-rounder (155th overall). Those are good numbers, but not enough return on New York's then-record five-year, $85 million deal. He missed nine contests over the past two seasons with ankle issues, but he led the Giants last season by posting seven of the team's 30 sacks. That was more than twice as many quarterback hits as any other player on the team.
The trade won't become official until 4 p.m. on March 13, the start of free agency and the NFL's calendar year.
Vernon was selected in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Dolphins.
By trading him prior to June 1, the Giants will save $11.5 million against the cap and carry $8 million in dead money on their books for the 2019 season. He now projects as the starting outside edge rusher opposite Myles Garrett, offering a lither option than Emmanuel Ogbah. Vernon gives them enough talent to make it this year.
The Giants struggled mightily to protect Eli Manning last season, allowing 47 sacks. He is due to earn $10 million this season. But running back Saquon Barkley was the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year despite playing behind an inconsistent unit.
He helped the Bengals to two division titles and four postseason appearances during his five seasons in Cincinnati.
Rebuilding the offensive line has been a standing priority for the Giants in recent years, particularly after Gettleman whiffed on signing Patrick Omameh last offseason.
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