If you just missed it, the New York Giants just signed Dolphins free agent defensive end Olivier Vernon to a record-setting contract that will net Miami a compensatory 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft.
Olivier Vernon:— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) March 9, 2016
5 years, $85 million, $52.5m guaranteed.
That $17 million per season mark is tops for pass rushers in the league and it doesn't bode well for the Patriots future on the edge.
While New England has been waiting to take care of free agency and the draft before extending their key players, it appears that defensive ends Chandler Jones and Jabaal Sheard will be on their way to impossibly ridiculous paydays in next year's free agency period.
The Patriots essentially stole Sheard last offseason on a 2-year, $11 million contract.
Yes, you read that correctly: the Patriots have Sheard for two seasons on a deal nearly value at nearly two-thirds of just one season of Olivier Vernon.
But Sheard and Jones can and should cash out (and maybe hand the Patriots a pair of 3rd round compensatory picks of their own). While one or both could offer the Patriots a team-friendly deal to protect against possible injuries during the 2016 season, there's little chance that the Patriots will give either player a contract near the ballpark of what Vernon received on the market.
There are a ton of teams that have a ridiculous amount of cap space that they have to spend, and they'll beat the Patriots to the contracts every time.
New England prepared for this when the selected the pair of Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers at the same point of the 2015 draft in hopes that they could serve as the edge defenders of the future. We'll wait and see if Jones and Sheard have a future in New England as well.
Oh, and Denver- enjoy spending the GDP of Idaho on retaining Von Miller. Good luck.