Current Arizona Cardinal and former New York Giant Markus Golden recently made a comment on his lack of playing time with Big Blue.
Markus Golden was likely the Giants‘ most talented edge rusher heading into the 2020 season. However, for one reason or another, the coaching staff seemingly didn’t perceive it that way. Golden didn’t earn the level of playing time he did in 2019, a season in which he led the Giants with 10.0 sacks.
It’s not right to question anything defensive coordinator Patrick Graham does, but Golden’s lack of playing time was certainly bizarre, especially considering the Giants exercised the unrestricted free agent tender to keep him around for 2020. The organization then eventually sent Markus to Arizona prior to the deadline.
And now, Golden is expressing his opinion on the matter. In a Monday tweet, the veteran outside linebacker had the following to say about his prior depth chart status with Big Blue.
— Markus Golden (@markusgolden) February 22, 2021
Golden’s words were in response to a Pro Football Focus tweet portraying the success he and fellow Cardinals edge rusher Haason Reddick experienced alongside one another.
Ironically enough, Olivier Vernon of the Browns is also mentioned in the PFF tweet. The Giants traded Vernon prior to the 2019 season three years after signing him to a long-term deal.
Golden was part of an edge rusher rotation that experienced an injury-plagued 2020 despite the fact the Giants defense was more successful than it had been in recent seasons. Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines bost sustained long-term injuries and Kyler Fackrell additionally found himself on injured reserve for four straight games late in the year.
As was previously mentioned, Golden’s lack of playing time was bizarre, but his trade might’ve been even more surprising. The Giants elected to receive just a sixth-round pick for him a season after he became the first Big Blue linebacker to notch double-digit sacks since Lawrence Taylor recorded 10.5 in 1990. Golden additionally became the first Giant to reach double-digit sacks since Jason Pierre-Paul had 12.5 in 2014.
Given Golden’s talent, the Giants could’ve definitely received more draft capital or simply a more valuable selection than one in the sixth round (No. 177 overall).