NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Olivier Vernon has lived in Miami his entire life. After signing a whopping $85 million deal with the Giants, there are some new things he’ll have to get used to.
“I’ve played in cold weather, and it didn’t really faze me like that for the most part. Living in it might be a little different, I’m not going to lie,” the former Dolphins defensive end told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Thursday. “But nothing I can’t get used to.”READ MORE: NYCFC Rallies Late In Second Half, Stuns Philadelphia Union For Spot In MLS Cup Final
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The Giants landed Vernon on Wednesday with a five-year contract that makes him the highest-paid defensive end in the NFL in terms of average salary ($17 million) and guaranteed money ($52.5 million).
The 25-year-old pass rusher said before he agreed to the deal he spoke with two people who are familiar with both his home state of Florida and the Giants organization — Antrel Rolle and Jason Pierre-Paul.READ MORE: Eagles Remain Undefeated In Their History Against Jets, Score On First 7 Possessions In Easy Win
“From what I heard about (from) former players that played for the Giants and play there now, it’s all good things — first-class organization,” Vernon said.
“I feel great right now. I feel being a part of that G-men title, right now’s pretty much a new chapter, a new step I’ve got to take in my life right now, and I’m glad to be taking that step in the Big Apple.”
As for the value of his new contract — which pays him even more than Houston’s J.J. Watt — Vernon said: “I’m grateful. I’m blessed right now. I’ve got to thank God for it — getting the opportunity, and the Giants see a lot in me. So I’m very thankful at this time, and I’m ready to get back to work.”MORE NEWS: Giants' Offense Sputters, Tagovailova Leads Dolphins To 5th Straight Win
Vernon, 25, was a third-round draft pick by the Dolphins in 2012. He had 11½ , 6½ and 7½ sacks the past three seasons. Miami had originally placed the transition tag on Vernon, but they rescinded it after agreeing to terms with former Bills defensive end Mario Williams on Tuesday.