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Jets went after Olivier Vernon, report says

Olivier Vernon of the Miami Dolphins gets in

Olivier Vernon of the Miami Dolphins gets in position during a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 1, 2013 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello

Who says the Jets aren’t willing to spend money in free agency?

According to MMQB.com’s Peter King, they were the mystery team involved in the Olivier Vernon sweepstakes — but they pulled out of the race when the price became too steep.

At least seven teams expressed interest in the former Dolphins defensive end, but the Jets, Giants and Jaguars emerged as the final three, according to King. Despite current salary cap constraints, the Jets made a run at the pass rusher — but they refused to go higher than $15 million a year.

Vernon, 25, ultimately chose the Giants, who reportedly agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth $85 million that includes $52.5 million guaranteed.

King, who spoke to Vernon’s agent David Canter, wrote: “The one issue that is important to Canter — other than dollars — is length of contract. The Giants and Jets are willing to give Vernon a five-year contract. Jacksonville prefers a six-year deal.”

And by 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, the Jets were done negotiating.

“Sometimes an agent has the leverage in a deal,” wrote King. “Canter knows he has it here, because he knows from this legal tampering period the Jaguars, Giants and Jets badly want Vernon. What’s the worst that can happen when Canter says the deal’s going to come in well over $15 million per year? One team, or more, drops out. And the dizzying cash total causes the Jets to throw in their cards here. The Jets don’t want to pay Vernon more than $15 million a year. But the Jags and Giants are still in.”

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