Browns trading G Zeitler to Giants for DE Vernon

Browns trading G Zeitler to Giants for DE Vernon

Kevin Zeitler should improve the Giants' offensive line immediately.

Three years after being the crown jewel of the Giants' free agent spending spree, Olivier Vernon is on the move. The 29-year-old was one of Cleveland's best linemen last season, helping anchor the group following Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas' retirement.

Vernon graded well last season in his 12 games, but this was a move the team needed to make. While there were some late-round picks swapped, this was a rare veteran-for-veteran trade in the NFL. "This is clearly a team that feels it's on the precipice of doing something significant, not just having a winning season, but making the playoffs, making a run of some kind".

With playmakers such as Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley and dynamic wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants' offense has the potential to be among the most prolific in the National Football League, especially after plugging Zeitler into the starting lineup. An All-American at Wisconsin, who was drafted by the Bengals in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Zeitler spent five seasons in Cincinnati, before Cleveland made him the highest-paid guard in NFL history, signing the Waukesha, WI native to a five-year, $60 million contract. He was set to make $15.5 million in each of the two remaining years on his contract.

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By trading Vernon, the Giants will have to eat $8 million toward the salary cap next season while saving $11.5 million.

The Giants struggled mightily to protect Eli Manning last season, allowing 47 sacks.

With trade talks seemingly stalled, it looked like the Giants would need to cut the former All-Pro to recoup.

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