“The Browns are another team that could get creative in moving players in and out, and along those lines veteran pass rusher Olivier Vernon’s name is one that’s circulating as available for teams looking for help in that area.”https://t.co/M5wqVTskdg
— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) October 29, 2020
“The Browns are another team that could get creative in moving players in and out, and along those lines veteran pass rusher Olivier Vernon’s name is one that’s circulating as available for teams looking for help in that area. I don’t think it’s too much to think the Browns could trade Vernon and add a pass rusher elsewhere to replace him.”
Vernon, who started four of his five games played in 2020, has zero sacks and just two quarterback hits this season.
He did play a season-high 66 snaps in Week 7’s victory against the Cincinnati Bengals though.
Unfortunately, he is a part of a Browns defense that has struggled mightily.
Cleveland has allowed the fourth-most points in the league thus far in 2020.
Interestingly though, the Browns defense has a different problem than it did in 2019.
Their Cleveland defense performed better against the pass than the run last year.
Also, Vernon played very well:
Vernon was productive for the #Browns in 2019 prior to injury. His ranks among 118 edge defenders with qualifying snaps:
▪️80.4 defensive grade (21st)
▪️7.8 pass rush productivity (T-35th) https://t.co/aNYQNBR6yZ
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) July 7, 2020
The former Miami Dolphin and New York Giant defender becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season.
The Browns are hoping that they will find a suitor in a trade for Vernon.
Will they be able to do so by the 4:00 pm eastern time trading deadline on Tuesday, November 3?
The Case for Keeping Olivier Vernon
In 2013, Vernon finished with a career-high 11.5 sacks, the seventh-most in the league that year.
Then, he finished in the top four in the NFL in tackles for loss in 2015 and 2016.
In 2015, Pro Football Focus had Vernon as a First-Team All-Pro selection.
He was a Second-Team All-Pro selection in 2016.
Vernon also made a Pro Bowl in 2018, his last year with the Giants.
He has the potential to contribute to a Cleveland team that is struggling on defense.
He ranks 24th in sacks and 27th in tackles for loss among active NFL players.
In addition, prior to the season, PFF tabbed Vernon as the Browns’ most underrated player:
— BrownsNation.com (@BrownsNationcom) May 28, 2020
The Case for Trading Away Olivier Vernon
While Vernon was underrated prior to the 2020 season, the biggest problem for the Browns is the passing defense.
It appears that the Browns could send Vernon elsewhere and get some help in the secondary.
With Vernon owed $11 million this year, he has the sixth-highest average annual salary on the team.
He is not performing like the sixth-highest paid player.
Also, Vernon’s abdomen injury caused him to miss two contests earlier in the season.
He has not had more than three tackles in a game in 2020.
Vernon has a chance to finish the year with career-lows in sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hits.
He does have a decent career overall and maybe some other NFL teams could take a chance on him.