EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 29: Linebacker Markus Golden #44 of the New York Giants takes the field for the game against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on September 29, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Dave Gettleman has had an up-and-down offseason, but the Markus Golden situation was certainly a win for the New York Giants general manager.

Ryan Honey

When you specifically look at Dave Gettleman‘s 2020 offseason, you begin to develop mixed feelings. The leader of the New York Giants front office has looked great in some scenarios, but not so much in others.

The not-so-great group encompasses the DeAndre Baker and Aldrick Rosas situations, and I understand he wasn’t at the cookout in Florida or the crash site in Califonia, but you don’t look fantastic when players you’ve made moves to employ allegedly become involved in those types of events.

The former group, on the other hand, includes acquiring a new No. 1 corner in James Bradberry, undergoing a great draft in which the issue-filled offensive line and defensive backfield were addressed, and most recently, acquiring Markus Golden on a cheap deal for the 2020 campaign.

But the real question regarding Gettleman’s offseason is this: is the Golden move the best he’s made since the 2019 season concluded?

In all honesty, I say yes. Here’s why:

The Giants don’t employ that consistent or talented of a pass-rushing unit, it’s that simple. But Golden is someone they could rely on in certain scenarios regardless of the fact that he’s not necessarily a star in this league. He led the team in sacks last year with 10, becoming the first Giants linebacker to reach the single-season double-digit sack mark since Lawrence Taylor notched 10.5 in 1990. It’s a crazy fact that makes fans of the organization realize how long it’s been since the team employed that productive of a pass-rushing linebacker.

Not to mention, Golden additionally led the team with 64 total pressures. The next most? Lorenzo Carter with 34.

The two aforementioned statistics prove that possessing Golden on the roster is imperative for the Giants pass rush to even be relevant. His on-field value is certainly existent and an aspect Big Blue needs for this struggling defense to improve.

And the fact that Gettleman was able to bring him back on a one-year deal worth around $5.1 million is amazing. The fact that Gettleman was able to utilize a rare unrestricted free agent tender that many NFL fans have never even heard of to retain the team’s top pass rusher from 2019 is also amazing.

The beginning of the free agency period was when Giants fans began to realize the difference in opinion between Golden and the team. Golden reportedly desired a contract that would pay him an annual amount of $10 million at one point, and the Giants simply weren’t willing to meet that specific requirement.

The organization then somehow arrived at a point where they’re paying him less than half of that in base salary. That’s why this move is phenomenal.

I agree, drafting Andrew Thomas and Xavier McKinney were great moves. I also supported the acquisitions of Bradberry and inside linebacker Blake Martinez. But look at the facts here: Gettleman and his staff showed patience, realized no team was willing to meet Golden’s asking price, and they executed a rare and almost unheard-of move in order to cheaply retain someone who could bring significant value to their pass rush and overall defense.

This is definitely the best move Gettleman has made in preparation for the 2020 season. I do criticize him a lot, but I certainly won’t in this situation.

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