UPDATE – 4:58 p.m. ET: Giants win the contest:
Giants get DE Olivier Vernon, source says. For real.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 9, 2016
UPDATE – 3:39 p.m. ET: NFL Media’s Jeff Darlington reports that the Jaguars and Giants have been making a strong push for Vernon’s services since the tag was lifted. They were described as “most serious” in talks which backs up TBC’s source from earlier this morning of the Bucs offering less than what he is looking for.
UPDATE – 9:40 a.m. ET: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Dolphins have removed the transition tag off of Vernon. He will officially be a free agent once the new league year begins this afternoon.
The Bucs along with the Jaguars, Giants, Cardinals and Falcons will make a push for Vernon now. Jacksonville has reportedly made Vernon top priority.
UPDATE – 3/9 8:16 a.m. ET: We are already aware of the price Miami has on Vernon — $15-million per year. Anything less would be matched, if the transition tag sticks. Anything over they will not match. That’s all according to the Miami Herald. Then of course there is Vernon who has a value on himself of roughly the same or slightly north of that.
Early Wednesday morning, TheBayCave.com learned that the Buccaneers may start out by offering significantly less than noted above as their initial offer could be potentially damning to negotiations. If true, Vernon will most likely look elsewhere and not give the Bucs an opportunity to correct it themselves. Or Miami simply matches.
3/8 11:00 p.m. ET: As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw pass rusher after pass rusher get swooped up by other teams, many were already labeling their offseason a failure. Not so fast.
Per a source close to the team, the Buccaneers are looking to begin negotiating with soon-to-be Miami Dolphins free agent defensive end Olivier Vernon once the clock hits 4 p.m. ET Wednesday afternoon. The team will apparently pull out all the stops for the 25-year-old and be “extremely aggressive” in their attempts.
Vernon is currently under a transition tag courtesy of the Miami Dolphins but talks of that tag being lifted can soon become reality. The lifting of the tag was reportedly pending due to a potential new deal with other defensive lineman Cameron Wake. Those talks appear to be moving forward which would then lead into the removal of Vernon’s tag.
There will be lots of moving parts and it is unknown for certain if this was in the Buccaneers plans all along after hosting Panthers’ defensive end Charles Johnson. But Tampa Bay understands their need for the position and they appear to be setting up a big campaign to not let Vernon out of their sights.