It’s not a comeback, it’s construction.
The Giants have a lot of confidence in the rising star, with an astounding five-year, $85 million deal, including $52 million guaranteed.
As the highest-paid defensive end in the NFL, the expectations for Vernon are sky high. He had a memorable end of the season, finishing with 61 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Vernon will be joining leading big man Jason Pierre-Paul as he starts his 7th season for the Giants.
The two Florida natives have different strengths, but are at the peak of their career in their mid 20s.
Pierre-Paul only averaged 21 tackles and 1 sack per game, but he was still recovering from the loss of his finger. This is a difficult challenge as he struggles to maintain his defensive presence with a severe disability.
Regardless of his in game performance, he is still considered the primary defensive leader on the field.
Vernon says that Pierre-Paul is an extremely talented player and makes everyone feel comfortable.
“A lot of guys look up to him and I see why. He has been to the big show, he has been to a couple Pro Bowls and he has done a lot for this organization,” Vernon said.
Although Pierre-Paul is the more experienced pass rusher for the Giants, Vernon has the ability to add a different element to the revamped Giants Defense as a more versatile athlete.
He is expected to be a playmaker for the rest of the front 7 in addition to the secondary.
With the increase in double teams that Vernon will face, that will leave single man to man blocking for Pierre-Paul as well as the two larger than life trench players with the likes of Damon Harrison and Jonathan Hankins.
Of course, with the great presence of Vernon on the field disrupting opposing offensive lines, this will create erroneous passes by opposing quarterbacks with fear that Vernon and Pierre-Paul are breathing down their necks. This notion is music to the ears of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the newly acquired Janoris Jenkins, who is known to be a ball hawk.
If both Pierre-Paul and Vernon do their jobs as the Giants expect them to as evidenced by their big contracts, the team should demolish their 2015 number of 15 interceptions and wreak havoc for offensive coordinators.
The Giants have too much talent for opposing teams to plan for and if the players assimilate well together, they can blow away the rest of the NFC East.