Olivier Vernon Rumblings

February 16th, 2016
Free agent DE Oliver Vernon and the Dolphins are not (yet) in serious talks.

Free agent DE Olivier Vernon and the Dolphins are not (yet) in serious talks.

It was very interesting that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht invoked the name of Miami defensive end Olivier Vernon as a player he doesn’t expect to see on the free agent market.

NFL front office types rarely bring up names of guys they are not interesting in signing. Licht, if anything, seemed envious.

Feel free to work a calculator here.

Well, if Licht thinks Miami won’t let Vernon get away, the Dolphins have a funny way of showing it. Per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, with 21 days left before the free agency dinner bell chimes, the two parties aren’t really talking.

According to a team source, Miami hasn’t yet told Vernon how much it’s willing to offer him. In fact, there have been no meaningful discussions between the parties.

But the NFL calendar will force the Dolphins’ hand in the next two weeks.

Teams can use their franchise tag beginning [today] and until March 1, but no later.

To complicate matters, if the Dolphins try to franchise Vernon, then they must do financial hopscotch with other player contracts. The Dolphins are not in the best of shape under the salary cap.

Feel free to dream of opposing quarterbacks actually being frightened of a Bucs pass rush on this mid-February Tuesday morning.

39 Responses to “Olivier Vernon Rumblings”

  1. SteveK Says:

    We should be thanking Dennis Hickey, Mark Dominick’s right hand man, for mismanaging the Miami Dolphin salary cap in his short tenure as GM.


  2. RustyRhinos Says:

    Why is it that this player Mr. Vernon draws a blank for me, is he a double digit sack ever player? Has he had many multisack games? Is he a dominant DE? I keep hearing how we need to get this guy, yet I have not ever heard his name. Not saying I am much of a Dolphins fan, I do not watch many other games besides the Bucs. I am just curious if he is as good as he is being fluffed up to be. This to me sounds like another DE I had heard little about Mr. Johnson from the bangles.

  3. dreambig Says:

    Rusty, he draws blanks for good reason. After 4 seasons, he has only 29 sacks. Averages just over 7 sacks per year. Last year he had 7.5 sacks which is one less than GMC and 1/2 more than Jacquies Smith. He had one year with double digit sacks (11.5) and that was 3 years ago. Here is another prime example of a free agent the Bucs would pick, expecting great things only to be disappointed when he plays exaclty as he has been playing for the last few years.

  4. Dave Says:

    No, he is not the answer but he could be part of the puzzle to improve the DEs. He’s better than any they have now.

  5. Dave Says:

    Other than Mario Williams, possibly, double digit sack guys in their early to mid 20’s don’t become available.

  6. dreambig Says:

    Actually he did have a 41 tackles which is near the top of the league for DL. That equals McCoy and Smith combined. Maybe a better run stopper than pass rusher? 7.5 sacks doesn’t suck but its hardly dominate.

  7. Joe Says:

    No, he is not the answer but he could be part of the puzzle to improve the DEs. He’s better than any they have now.

    Pretty much this.

  8. dreambig Says:

    ^^^ dominant

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    He was a backup. Starter got injured and he went in. 7 sacks in 7 games played. If he had the opportunity to start all season, he would have potentially had 16 sacks.

    Miami had a goldmine, and they didn’t even know it.

    On top of their cap situation, they also need cap room for draft picks and to resign players.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Ignore what I just posted. was thinking of another player.

  11. mike Says:

    hopefully the Suh contract ties the dolphins hands and he becomes a free agent. Would love him and Spence in Tampa!

  12. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Signing Mario Williams is a very bad idea.

    The man is 31. He only had 5 sacks last year. Why?

    Fans and media are saying he didn’t fit well with the Bills defense.

    His fellow teammates are saying he quit, refused to put in any hard work over the year.

    Don’t we have enough quitters on the Bucs????

    Say they bring him in. How much will it cost? Possibly $75 million over multiple years. Maybe more. He’ll be the top FA…unless Brees is released (doubtful). Suh got $100 mil on his deal with the Dolphins.

    How long will Williams continue to play at a high level (IF he even still can; and IF he doesn’t quit on his team)? 2 years?

    So you are talking about giving this man more money per year than Revis got, and you will not even be able to use him more than 2 years?

    Is 2 years good enough? Well, let’s consider. Will the rest of the defense be good enough to take advantage of his presence? Think about it. We’ll be filling many holes through the draft on defense. Those new players MIGHT require a year of development or more.

    So we would not get much out of Williams presence for a year. We’d be paying him $25 mill for his first year, after signing bonus and salary.

    Mario Williams just is not worth the payout.

  13. @hands2theface Says:

    Rusty, here’s how I remember him. He was suspended back in August after getting into a fight with Michael Oher of panthers after they got into it in scrimmages. Then he was the guy that went low on Marcus marriota and injured his knee.

    Not the best way to get remembered.

  14. bucs4life86 Says:

    We need all the pass rushers we can get, Vernon can take sackless George Johnsons spot (what a waste of 5 mill and a 5th rnd pick he was) cause he’s gone and Jack Smith is not a 3 down player a is a situational pass rusher who only has one move wich is a speed rush. And most tackles have figured that out already. Vernon can rush the Passer and stop the ruj. He’s worth bringing in.

  15. pelbuc Says:

    FAs are like trendy names for Head coaching vacancies. All of a sudden certain names pop up that would “instantly make you a contender”. No need to break the bank. Saw this guy personally lose the game for the Dolphins last year at Jax with a stupid roughing the passer penalty. Bucs already have enough of those clowns on the team.

  16. Joe Says:

    The man is 31. He only had 5 sacks last year. Why?

    Williams had his best years playing defensive end in a 43 defense. Last year he was back at outside linebacker in a 34 defense.

    The age issue is valid. Sadly, the Bucs aren’t in any position to be choosy.

    Over the hill Williams > sackless George Johnson/Ghost Johnson.

  17. waterboy Says:

    Olivier Vernon isn’t as established of a pass rusher as Mario Williams but he’s only 26 and Mario Williams is 31 and although he’s still very good he’s definitely on the decline. As far as Vernon’s sacks he had 2012-3.5, 2013-11.5, 2014-6.5 and 2015-7.5 sacks per year but the thing that also intrigues me about him is his number of QB pressures, in 2014 and 2015 he was ranked 17th and 36th in the league in QB pressures and Gerald McCoy (different position) was ranked 26th and 78th. Mario Williams was ranked 11th and 76th. Vernon also shouldn’t command the salary of a top tier DE which also leaves open the potential to draft one.

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    But it is still a question of

    Age + attitude + production + shelf life+ team development + investment

    How long until the rest of the defense is good enough to make valid use of him for the investment?

    I think it’s obvious we’re going DE with our first pick. Do you agree? If that is the case, we can go with someone like Oliver Vernon, a player prepared to take the next step, instead of blowing a huge wad on Williams.

    Splash signings are great for the fans and media…but they commonly don’t end up being worth the investment.

    Look at what Miami spent on Suh…it put them in cap heck and his production has not equaled investment.

  19. UTAHDAVE Says:

    Joe, I thought teams couldn’t talk about players before the league year was up? Is Light breaking the rules?

  20. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Mario Williams playing time remaining: 2-3 years

    Oliver Vernon playing time remaining: 7-8 years

  21. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    He isn’t quoted. It’s all guess work.

  22. Joe Says:

    Joe, I thought teams couldn’t talk about players before the league year was up? Is Light breaking the rules?

    Vernon is a free agent. He is not currently under contract.

  23. Joe Says:

    Hey Bonzai:

    Please click on this link and see for yourself.

    “We’re having very good talks with (Martin’s representatives),’’ Licht said. “There hasn’t been one second of dissension. Right now it’s just like it is with any other free agent that their team wants to keep.

    “Miami has (defensive end) Olivier Vernon and Denver has (defensive end) Von Miller, but neither of them has been sewn up yet. It’s a matter of finding the right contract for both sides.

    “So we’ll talk again at the (NFL Scouting) combine (which begins Feb. 23). Sometimes things accelerate there, sometimes they don’t. But Doug’s our guy, so we have the ability to talk to them at any time.’’

    See those thingies at the start and ending of those three paragraphs? Those are called “quotation marks.” Works typed between those thingies are called quotes, meaning they came out of Licht’s own mouth, NOT “guesswork” — your quote (ahem).

  24. Rrsrq Says:


    You hit it, Vernon is a guy who can grow with the defense and this team, Miami was stacked with d-line talent, wonder how much coaching he got, I have no idea, but let coach Joe get his hands on a young talent, that’s the selling point and of course, Jameis.

  25. Joe Says:

    but let coach Joe get his hands on a young talent, that’s the selling point

    You are sniffing the right scent.

  26. Buccfan37 Says:

    I would not overspend on these available iffy older players either. I trust Licht and the revamped coaching staff to mostly build in the draft. It’s not like the Bucs are necessarily playoff bound and need a couple of players to make it happen quickly. Sure the pool of money is there to upgrade, don’t overpay for temporary fixes that mimic past mistakes, choose wisely.

  27. biff barker Says:

    Cue the Lovepologists….

    Mike Smith will have his unit energized. The players we already have are going to play smarter, faster, harder.

    Furthermore, hang a Denver on the NFC South. Sign everybody… Vernon, Williams, Wilkerson… seriously. (pipe dream? maybe). Biff also thinks we need to sign/draft a thumper Mike LB and let LVD and Qwan shoot the gaps.

    I’m entirely sick of watching a flaccid Buc D. Spend.

  28. Rrsrq Says:

    Would love to see a d-line rotation of:
    Vernon, Noah Spence, Jacq Smith, Gholston, McCoy, McDonald, A. Spence, if you keep one more Melton for his diversity (unless Bosa is there at 9)

  29. godzilla13 Says:

    Do the math. Dolphins have $8,661,763 under the cap. Dolphins are faced with impending free agency of running back Lamar Miller, Rishard Matthews and Derrick Shelby. Jordan Cameron could be released with several other players to boost their cap number. Olivier Vernon was the 3rd best edge defender in the NFL last year behind Von Miller and Khalil Mack. He is going to get a HUGE salary. He is probably worth around $11-$12M per year however he’s going to land a contract in the $14-$15 million per year range. Dolphins are considering a franchise tag for Vernon, which will come in around $15 million guaranteed for one year. With Von Miller winning MVP of the SB and getting a massive deal, the market for DE’s will be hyper-inflated which is going to impact Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul and Mario Williams contracts. My money is with the Dolphins not franchising, nor paying Vernon’s inflated cost. He is another undisciplined guy who can play but always finds a way to get that 15 yards penalty that costs his team. The Bucs still should try to sign either Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul or Mario Williams. They are the cream of this years crop. Problem is that when the dinner bell rings, there will be one dog missing at the table. Jason..ruff,ruff.

  30. Zoocomics Says:

    So Could this Vernon be like a Michael Bennett?

    I used to get annoyed about how Joe salivated over Michael Bennett, and how we let him walk for no good reason, and yet my argument has always been that Bennett NEVER produced a double digit sack season…in fact, not until this year did he final get to 10 sacks!…

    That being said…I take it all back, as I’ve seen the chaos Bennett can produce, and the fact that the guy can pass rush both outside and inside appears to be a rarer trait than I could ever imagine…it’s just another aspect/trait I’ve learned to respect from the DE position… What I’ve also learned is that not everything is about sack production, but more so disrupting the QB, case-in-point Aaron Donald didn’t have a sack against us, but damn it felt like he had 5 sacks against us as he hit Jameis on every passing play… I’ll take that type of play any day over a guy like Jacquies Smith who seems to show up for a couple of plays a game, maybe gets a sack, but then disappears…

    Is Vernon a Bennett type of guy?

  31. Joe Says:

    That being said…I take it all back, as I’ve seen the chaos Bennett can produce, and the fact that the guy can pass rush both outside and inside appears to be a rarer trait than I could ever imagine…

    Never mind he is excellent against the run.

  32. gotbbucs Says:

    A double digit sack guy doesn’t equate to wins. Look around the league and show me the teams with the one guy with huge sack numbers and show me the winners. The best teams right now have multiple pass rushers coming from all different directions, it makes it 10 times harder to game plan if there are multiple options rather than just taking one guy out of the equation.
    Vernon would be an excellent piece, but he won’t raise our season sack totals by himself. You need to have multiple guys with 7 or 8 sacks a season. The entire unit needs to create pressure as one. I still want to sign a stud because it has to start somewhere, but it can’t stop there.

  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    Vernon is available because he’s a liability. He had the 2nd most penalties on defense, half of them pre-snap. Pass.

  34. Waterboy Says:

    With 16 qb hurries in 2014 and 20 in 2015 I’d be willing to take that gamble to bring him in. Pre-snap penalties are correctable but guys that can get to the qb or at least force him to rush his throws aren’t easy to come by. Muhammed Wilkerson and JPP are other options but both of them are coming off injuries so they may be a little more risky to pickup. Vernon won’t come cheap but he shouldn’t come close to demanding the kind of money that a Justin Houston, Von Miller or Mario Williams would.

  35. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Miami isn’t talking to him because they know they have 0 chance of keeping him unless they are able to convince Suh to restructure his deal. Which I don’t think we will. That said, Vernon will be a FA. And hopefully he loves Florida and wants to stay and make some extra cash with the whole no tax thing. He would be a great fit and give us a real DE. Add him and draft Carl Nassib in the 3rd. We would be set at both starting DE positions. And allow us to use our 1st rounder, hopefully Hargreaves, and a WR like Tyler Boyd in the 2nd.

    First three picks

    1. Hargreaves CB UF

    2. Tyler Boyd WR Pitt

    3. Carl Nassib DE Penn State

  36. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Drafting those 3 guys would allow us to focus filling starters in free agency. Lamar Miller would be a great pick up if its under 6-8 Million a season. And would form a great combo with Sims. Miller and Sims at RB and Evans and Boyd at WR, would give Jameis a ton of talented playmakers surrounding him. Which is something we must provide for him.

  37. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    You r talking like Martin won’t be back??? He will be a buc.
    And we won’t waste our 1st on a cb like VH3. He isn’t a top 10 pick.
    The pick will be NOAH SPENCE. aka Von Miller 2.0

  38. bucs4life86 Says:

    If Noah Spence isn’t there VH3 is the next best option, I’ve watched every single Gators game since he arrived and he is the real deal. There was only ONE receiver EVER that got there way with him, sum guy named Amari Cooper. Other than that he locked his side of the field down. He has tremendous ball skills, wonderful closing speed, and just all around good football instincts. As far as the bowl game were the whole team looked uninterested, he didn’t want to get risk a injury in a game that was over from the beginning. I don’t approve of it but it is what it is.

  39. bucs4life86 Says:

    VH3 is a future pro bowler! Bet that up.