With numerous moves having been made in free agency, it’s surprising the New York Giants have yet to re-sign Markus Golden and Michael Thomas
But despite the number of moves that have been made, two key Giants remain unsigned — Markus Golden and Michael Thomas.
We’re still relatively early in the free agency period, but it’s a bit of a surprise that Golden and Thomas are still on the market.
The Giants signed Golden to a one-year deal last offseason. His 10 sacks led the team, and he was perhaps Gettleman’s best free-agent acquisition in his two full seasons as general manager. He became the first Giant to hit the double-digit sack mark since Jason Pierre-Paul in 2014. Golden was also the first Giants linebacker to achieve that same total since Lawrence Taylor in 1990.
Even when Golden wasn’t sacking quarterbacks, he was applying constant pressure. His 27 quarterback hits were sixth-most in the NFL. He also recorded 72 combined tackles with 13 tackles for loss. The latter statistic tied for 15th in the league.
He additionally executed a 42-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Giants’ Week 6 matchup against the Patriots.
Lorenzo Carter to Markus Golden!!! WE ARE ALIVE!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/VsiRXFVDMT
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) October 11, 2019
Despite only playing on the team for one season, his teammates showed him nothing but respect in the locker room.
With the exception of Jadeveon Clowney, the 29-year-old Golden is arguably the most talented pass rusher who’s still available.
Gettleman did sign an outside linebacker in Kyler Fackrell, but he’s coming off a season in which he recorded just one sack. Currently, the only reliable outside linebackers on the Giants roster are Fackrell, Lorenzo Carter, and Oshane Ximines. You’d figure Gettleman needs to add at least one more pass rusher, and Golden would be an ideal fit.
Thomas, on the other hand, spent the last two seasons in East Rutherford and has combined for 106 total tackles during that span. Thomas is an excellent special teams player, having been voted to the Pro Bowl in 2018. His strengths don’t stop there though, as he’s also a solid third-down safety.
His open-field tackle on a key fourth-quarter third down on Bucs tight end Cameron Brate helped propel the Giants to their first win of the 2019 season. Big Blue ultimately ousted Tampa Bay 32-31 in Week 3.
Great open field tackle by @Michael31Thomas on a key 3rd down in the 4th quarter. He’s not only an excellent special teams player, he’s a solid safety, and great locker room leader. pic.twitter.com/V8yMrmL5bC
— Jason Leach (@JasonKLeach) March 26, 2020
In addition to his play, Thomas is one of the most respected players in the league. Simply speaking, he conducts himself professionally on the field, in the locker room, and in the community. This is why New York named him team captain in both of his seasons with Big Blue.
In 2018, he was a nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, and this week, he became the Giants’ 2019 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award for his off-field contributions.
Thomas turned 31 earlier this month and shows no signs of slowing down one bit. Gettleman recently signed Nate Ebner, who fills a similar role to Thomas in that he’s a special teams ace and safety. But as much as head coach Joe Judge emphasizes the importance of great special teams play (and versatile players), it’s not out of the question that the Giants will bring Thomas back.
Perhaps Golden, Thomas, and their agents are weighing their options to see which team is the best fit. With the free-agent pool dwindling, we should find out soon where the two players will sign.