Mar 102016
Damon Harrison, New York Jets (December 19, 2015)

Damon Harrison – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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The New York Giants officially announced the signings of unrestricted free agent defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive tackle Damon Harrison, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins on Thursday.

“We went into free agency hoping to find help to improve our defense,” General Manager Jerry Reese said. “We believe signing JPP (defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul), Snacks (Harrison), J.J. (Jenkins), and Olivier Vernon gives us a good start in that direction.”

The Giants signed the 25-year old Vernon to a 5-year, $85 million contract.

“Vernon is a young pass rusher with all the tools,” said Reese. “He makes plays, and he plays the game with an edge. We believe he’s right at the beginning of his prime and will continue to improve.”

“Watching the Giants in the past, they’ve been known for great defense and having great defensive players, especially on the defensive line,” Vernon said. “Hearing all those good things, and especially being in New York, and also being on the big show and playing the best of the best, I couldn’t turn it down.”

“The possibilities are what we make it,” Vernon said of the Giants’ defensive front.

(Full DE Olivier Vernon Conference Call Transcript)

The Giants signed the 27-year old Harrison to a 5-year, $46.25 million contract.

“Harrison is a powerful inside run stopper,” said Reese. “He holds the point of attack and makes plays, and he pushes the pocket against the pass more than he gets credit for.”

“On paper (our defensive front) looks awesome, but if we can’t come together and jell as a unit, it will just be four individuals trying to look good,” Harrison said. “I think with JPP and Big Hank (defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins) having played with each other before, and with Olivier and myself coming in and trying to jell with them – because this is their team – I’m going to be a part of what they have going on.”

(Full DT Damon Harrison Conference Call Transcript)

The Giants signed the 27-year old Jenkins to a 5-year, $62.5 million contract.

“Jenkins challenges wide receivers, he competes, and he makes plays,” said Reese. “He has outstanding transition skills.”

“I heard a lot of things about (Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo), I think I’ll fit in great,” said Jenkins. “What he runs, I’ll try to fit into the scheme, and play it to the best of my ability. I prefer man-to-man, cover zero. As far as coach Spags, I’m just going to try to figure out the defense as he gives it to me, and get it down pat as much as possible and just go play and have fun.”

Video of exclusive Q&A sessions with the following recently signed free agents is available at

  • DE Olivier Vernon (Video)
  • DT Damon Harrison (Video)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (Video)


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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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