The NFL’s best edge rushers, No. 4: Olivier Vernon
When the Giants signed the former Dolphin to a four-year, $85 million contract with $40 million guaranteed, most NFL fans reacted with a collective, “Who?!” But he was definitely worthy of being one of the first players plucked in free agency. We’ll have to see whether he was worth that coin. If Vernon continues on his current trajectory, he will be. Like fellow high-priced free agent Malik Jackson, Vernon has been slowly improving since 2012. He was already an elite run defender and a good pass rusher when given snaps, but Vernon finally got the chance to show what he could do last season. He was at his best when Miami lost Cameron Wake to injury: PFF counted 57 total pressures and 33 stops over the final eight games. Those are full-season stats for most players.