CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have renegotiated defensive end Olivier Vernon’s massive contract for next season, a person familiar with the talks told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
Vernon’s future with the Browns seemed uncertain as he was set to make $15.25 million — the largest current one-year contract on Cleveland’s roster — in 2020. But the club reworked his deal and he’ll earn $11 million, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not publicly disclosing the agreement.
ESPN was first to report Vernon will get a $7 million signing bonus, $3.75 million base salary, $250,000 workout bonus and $2 million in incentives.
The 29-year-old Vernon joined the Browns last season after coming over from the New York Giants in the blockbuster trade that brought wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland.
Vernon started slowly last season, and was just finding his rhythm when he injured his knee in a Week 9 loss at Denver. He finished with 3 1/2 sacks in 10 games, hardly what the Browns envisioned with him playing on the opposite side of star end Myles Garrett, who could be poised to get a major extension soon.
There was speculation the Browns would trade Vernon this offseason as they’ve reportedly been pursuing free agent Jadeveon Clowney, who remains on the market. But it appears Vernon will be back with a defensive front that has been upgraded with the offseason additions of Adrian Clayborn and Andrew Billings.
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