After struggling due to injury and inconsistently over the first half of the season, New York Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon turned things around down the stretch and when all was said and done, the numbers looked decent.

While Vernon didn’t do nearly enough to warrant his massive contract, he did earn a trip to the Pro Bowl after initially being named an alternate, and was later named to Pro Football Focus’ Top 101 Players from 2018.

70. OLIVIER VERNON, NEW YORK GIANTS

Top 101 appearances: 3

After an ankle injury forced Vernon from the field early in the 2018 season, he rebounded nicely with an 86.3 overall grade and 86.0 pass rush grade, ranking 13th and tied-for-seventh respectively, among edge defenders. Vernon made an impact with 46 total pressures on 414 pass-rush snaps for a pressure rate of 11.1 percent.

But that wasn’t all. PFF recently released their finalized grades from the 2018 season and, as it turns out, Vernon led the Giants defense and there wasn’t even a close second.

What’s arguably more interesting than Vernon’s unexpected 86.3 grade is that only two other defenders scored above a 70. Additionally, undrafted free agent cornerback Grant Haley earning the fifth-highest defensive grade is both encouraging and concerning.

As far as Vernon, the Giants have a choice to make this offseason: cut him, request a pay cut or let him continue to play below a very bloated contract. Thus far, there have been no substantial rumblings regarding a contract, so the Giants may be poised to go into 2019 carrying Vernon’s $19.5 million cap hit.