According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Browns and defensive end Olivier Vernon have renegotiated the terms of his contract.
The Browns and DE Olivier Vernon have agreed to a renegotiated contract, per source. Vernon, previously due $15.25M non-guaranteed, gets $11M guaranteed through a $7M signing bonus, $3.75M base salary and a $250K workout bonus, plus $2M more available via incentives.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 7, 2020
This is a typical thing that happens as we get closer to camps starting and something we may see more of this year as veterans get pinched due to concerns over revenue. The Browns will save $4.5 million with the pay cut. I would imagine that Vernon’s signing bonus is safe and would be paid even in the event the season is cancelled.
The Browns certainly have no salary cap issues long term or short term (they have the most cap space in the NFL in 2020 and the most cap flexibility in 2021) but they had been flirting with Jadeveon Clowney who likely would have taken a spot on the roster and given this renegotiation I would argue that the spot would have been Vernon’s.
Vernon was traded to the Browns last season and appeared in 10 games, playing in just under 48% of the Browns defensive snaps. Vernon is a solid player who has had a rough run of injuries, limiting him to appearing in 12, 11, and 10 games in the last three seasons. This will give him the opportunity to play out his contract and head to free agency next year which is a far better scenario than being cut this year and landing in a crowded field of available defensive players.