Olivier Vernon is a very, very rich man.
Vernon agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract with the New York Giants on Wednesday — a deal that includes a staggering $52.5 million in guaranteed money, $40 million of which is guaranteed fully. It was the biggest payday for a rush end in NFL history.
Vernon will earn $29 million in his first year, $41 million through his second and $54 million through his third with the Giants. The deal was simply in a stratosphere too high for the Dolphins to match.
They probably knew that early Wednesday, when they decided to rescind the transition tag on the former University of Miami star. That allowed Vernon to enter free agency as the most coveted pass-rusher of the year.
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The deal is a reflection of the new normal in the NFL, with a salary cap over $155 million. And while the Dolphins did create some space with a flurry of moves in recent days, they simply could not compete with what Vernon was offered.
For more details, plus other moves on a busy day for the Dolphins, visit the Dolphins in Depth blog.