For all that’s been said about his contract, New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon is living up to the hype. This Sunday, he can make a bit of history.
Jerry Reese and the New York Giants came under fire this past offseason when they signed defensive end Olivier Vernon to a five-year deal worth $85 million. The fact that Vernon recorded a total of 1.0 sack in his first seven games did him no favors.
Over the past five games, however, Vernon has begun to live up to the hype and the contract that came with it.
Vernon enters Week 14 with 49 total tackles and 8.0 sacks in 12 games played. He has 7.0 sacks over the past five games alone, including the 2.0 sacks he recorded against the Cleveland Browns and the 2.0 he tallied against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to Dan Salomone of Giants.com, Vernon has an opportunity to become the first Giants player to record at least one sack in six straight games since Michael Strahan in 2003.
For all of the talk that the Giants paid Vernon too much, he sure seems to be worth it at this current juncture.
The 26-year-old defensive end made a difficult decision to move on from his hometown. He was born in Miami, played college football for the Miami Hurricanes, and spent his first four NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
The past five games have given Giants fans every reason to be thankful he made that difficult decision.
Vernon is currently tied with Houston Texans standout Whitney Mercilus as the No. 11 edge defender on Pro Football Focus. He’s been superb against the run, but it wasn’t until the past five weeks that he made his mark as a pass rusher.
Over the course of just five weeks, Vernon has gone from 1.0 sack in seven games to No. 11 in the NFL with 8.0 sacks in 12 games.
If Vernon can maintain this torrid pace and help the Giants make the playoffs, he’ll have been worth every penny on the first year of his contract.
With Jason Pierre-Paul sidelined for the rest of the regular season, he’ll need to be.