Olivier Vernon is an American football player who started his professional career strutting his stuff with the Miami Dolphins after being selected 72nd overall in the third round of the 2012 National Football League (NFL) Draft.
Vernon played college football at the University of Miami where he was regarded as an outstanding pass rusher and edge player. He joined the New York Giants as the outside linebacker in 2016 on a five-year deal worth $85 million.
Olivier Alexander Vernon was born in Miami, Florida on October 7, 1990. He was raised by his parents; his Swiss-born mother Bernadette, a departmental store worker and Jamaican-born Lascelles Vernon, a veteran of the Miami Police Department for 25 years before his retirement in 2016.
Although Vernon is known as a private person and a man of few words, he has spoken about his family and what it’s like being raised by parents such as his in one of his interviews. According to him, “it takes a lot of hard work to get to where you want to go,” and that is the value he learned from his parents.
Growing up in the city of Miami, Vernon attended American High School where he actively played football and graduated as a four-star recruit, according to Rivals. He was also touted as the 11th best defensive end prospect of his class.
After three years playing football for the Miami Hurricanes football team at the University of Miami, Olivier Vernon made a total of 81 tackles (30 solo), including 20.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. He began to play professionally after declaring early for the 2012 NFL Draft and becoming the 72nd pick overall by the Miami Dolphins. Vernon’s 3rd round selection was the first time the Dolphins picked a player from the University of Miami since 2004.
On October 28, 2012, during the game against the New York Jets, Vernon scored his first NFL touchdown and recovered a field goal in the last seconds of the second half. That season, he made an average of 3.5 sacks, 25 tackles and 7 assists in 16 games. He played for the franchise from 2012 to 2015 and in all 64 games with the side, Vernon scored 143 total tackles and 29.0 sacks.
The New York Giants signed Olivier Vernon to a five-year contract worth $85 million in 2016. While he would rather not talk about the contract that placed him on the list of top-earning NFL players, Vernon understands that with more money comes even bigger scrutiny.
He started all 16 games of his first season with the Giants, recording 63 tackles with 8.5 sacks, to earn the second-team All-Pro. The following season, he scored 6.5 sacks, 22 total tackles and one interception in 12 games as the outside linebacker. As far as football is concerned, Vernon wants to be known as an overall complete player; stopping the run, rushing the passer and being able to drop back.
Height: 6feet 2inches (1.88 m)
Weight: 270 lb (122 kg)
Arm Length: 33″
Hands: 10 1/8″
Strength: Vernon is known to excel as an edge rusher. His draft analysis describes him as an undersized defensive end who likely will be moved to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, where he has much more value. His strength in the field makes him a competitive and rather intimidating opponent against the run who can play from different alignments or work sideline to sideline.
Weakness: According to NFL analysis, Vernon is only limited by his inexperience due to lack of opportunities to cover in man schemes. Thus, he struggled in the few times he was expected to blanket faster players.
Other Interesting Tidbits
Despite earning millions as a famous athlete, Vernon craves respect in the world of football more than the money. His $85 million deal with the Giants with $52.5 million guaranteed, places him under brighter lights, thus, he continues to work towards becoming a household name in the game.
Known for his love for privacy, it’s not surprising how the Miami native tries to keep his name out of the gossip tabloid columns and television shows. He said it’s okay for people to judge his performance on the football field but his daily life and the way he comports himself outside the gridiron shouldn’t be an object of scrutiny.
Vernon is involved in charity events and usually sponsors an annual camp back at his old high school.
Olivier Vernon was the only Giants player who took to kneeling during the national anthem the entire 2017 season. However, due to NFL’s new policy that would impose fines on any player who refuses to stand during the national anthem, he ditched the cause in 2018, saying he “ain’t trying to get fined, so no.” It was a reluctant decision for him but spending the season confined in a locker room doesn’t sound appealing to the player who’s aiming for the top.
As of 2018, Olivier Vernon was still flying solo without a wife or children of his own. For all we know, he loves dogs and has a Pitbull Terrier.