Many were guessing all offseason as to where Markus Golden would end up, and after months, he’s back with the New York Giants.
This offseason has been a period in which Dave Gettleman has looked good in some scenarios but certainly not others. But when it comes to the Markus Golden situation, chalk this up as a win for the New York Giants general manager.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the veteran edge rusher signed his one-year unrestricted free agent tender. The deal is in the neighborhood of $5.1 million.
#Giants OLB Markus Golden has officially signed his 1-year, roughly $5.1M contract, source said. With the UFA tender, his salary was set, as was his eventual destination. After 10 sacks in 2019, he’s back with NYG on another prove-it deal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 4, 2020
The Giants placed the unrestricted free agent tender on Golden back in April, which basically gave them the rights to him for the 2020 campaign if he didn’t sign elsewhere by the first day of the first training camp or July 22 (whichever was later).
Golden was seeking a significant contract in free agency, one that reportedly would pay him $10 million annually at one point. Thus, Gettleman and the Giants definitely won this deal and have retained their top edge rusher from 2019 for at least the upcoming season.
Although not a star, Golden was certainly productive last year. His 10 sacks led the team and made him the first Giant to hit the single-season double-digit sack mark since Jason Pierre-Paul did it in 2014 (12.5). Golden additionally became the first Giants linebacker to achieve double-digit sacks in a season since Lawrence Taylor notched 10.5 during the 1990 season.
Golden will absolutely start, there’s no doubt about it. This comes even with a mostly new coaching staff that includes a new defensive coordinator in Patrick Graham along with a new outside linebackers coach in Bret Bielema.
He won’t be the only pass rusher extensively utilized though, as the Giants could implement a number of individuals they employ within that position group. Obviously, third-year player Lorenzo Carter will be in the mix and could be the starter on the opposite side regardless of the fact that he didn’t efficiently develop last season. Oshane Ximines is another guy this organization is high on and free-agent acquisition Kyler Fackrell will also see the field. The latter spent 2018 with Graham in Green Bay when he was the Packers linebackers coach and run game coordinator.
Don’t sleep on Carter Coughlin either. One of the team’s four seventh-round picks from this year’s draft, Coughlin is an athletic edge rusher who definitely carries experience succeeding against quality talent. During his days with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the 23-year-old twice earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.
But back to the original point, this was a phenomenal move executed by Gettleman and his staff. They understood Golden wasn’t garnering much interest from the rest of the league and used this rare tender to lock him up at a cheap rate for the 2020 campaign. There’s not much downside to this transaction at all.