No. 2: Olivier Vernon (Starter) vs. Adrian Clayborn
Well, it looks like Olivier Vernon is here to stay and we can shut down all talks of him being gone after the Browns worked out a restructured contract with the veteran edge rusher. The question was never surrounding Vernon’s ability on the field, more so if he is able to simply just stay on the field.
Last year, the banged-up Vernon was still able to manage 3.5 sacks when he was playing. His best season was back in 2013 with the Miami Dolphins when he finished with a whopping 11.5 sacks in one season. I strongly believe that there will be quite a few eyes monitoring the Vernon situation and if he doesn’t get off to a hot start, he could see less and less of the field.
The Browns signed veteran Adrian Clayborn a little while back, arguably one of their top veteran signings this offseason. Why? He is a proven veteran talent that can provide serious depth in multiple positions on the defensive line.
Last year, Clayborn finished with 18 total tackles and four sacks. Being in the league since 2011, bringing in four sacks last year is pretty solid. If Vernon gets injured again and things get rough for him, look for the Browns to mix up how they use their guys on the defensive line. As Cleveland respects Vernon for taking less money and restructuring his contract, all the fans want is a healthy version of him.