2. Olivier Vernon, EDGE
We stick with the defensive line and now have Olivier Vernon, who would be an even more likely trade candidate than the previously mentioned Sheldon Richardson. Vernon joined the Browns last season in a trade with the New York Giants and it was expected that he would pair with Myles Garrett to give Cleveland one of the best edge-rushing tandems in the league.
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That didn’t come to fruition in 2019 as Vernon struggled with health and Garrett was suspended for the final six games of the season. Vernon still played well, even if his sack totals aren’t where he would have liked, but the question is whether or not he’s worth his current salary.
According to OverTheCap.com, Vernon has the highest cap hit of any player on the team with $15.5 million. Cleveland isn’t in any sort of cap trouble so it’s not as if this is something they need to do, but it doesn’t mean the thought won’t cross their minds.
One example of Andrew Berry already making such a move was when Cleveland released Christian Kirksey who had been unable to stay healthy lately and had a high cap number. Berry also refused to give Joe Schobert the contract he wanted and watched him head to Jacksonville. Keep in mind, these decisions were made at linebacker which is one of the weakest positional groups on the team.
As for defensive end, it might not be star-studded behind Vernon but they have Myles Garrett and Adrian Clayborn with Chad Thomas as a reserve. That’s a lot more talent than they had at linebacker and they were willing to save some money there.