New York Giants Markus Golden
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The next step has been taken in the New York Giants-Markus Golden saga, as Big Blue has utilized a rare unrestricted free agent tender.

Up to this point, Markus Golden has yet to ink a deal with the New York Giants, or any team for that matter. He was one of the better edge rushers heading into the free-agent period, considering he recorded 10 sacks on a one-year deal for the Giants last season.

His future in East Rutherford started to become doubtful, but on Monday, the next step in the saga between him and Big Blue was reportedly taken.

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Giants have placed the unrestricted free agent tender on the veteran. Thus, if Golden doesn’t sign with another team by July 22, he’ll only be able to suit up for the Giants in 2020. But if he was to leave, he would “count towards the 2021 compensatory pick formula.”

Dan Duggan of The Athletic then weighed in and said this could force teams into shying away from signing him due to how it could affect their compensatory pick formulas.

If no one signs him, the Giants may employ him for a relatively cheap price (one-year deal around $4.1 million). At one point, Golden was reportedly asking for $10 million annually.

Golden’s sack total led New York in 2019. He became the first Giants linebacker to record double-digit sacks in a season since Lawrence Taylor had 10.5 in 1990. Markus was also the first Giant to record double-digit sacks since Jason Pierre-Paul racked up 12.5 in 2014.

We’ll see what happens in the next few months. But as of right now, there’s still a chance Golden can return to New York for the 2020 campaign.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.