Giants Talking to Markus Golden Regarding Possible Reunion

New York Giants, Markus Golden

The prospects of the New York Giants bringing back outside linebacker Markus Golden this year were getting dimmer and dimmer until the Giants placed the little-used UFA tender on him right after the NFL Draft.

Golden, who has drawn very little interest since becoming an unrestricted free agent in mid-March, now has until July 22 to sign a free agent contract with another team or else his rights will revert back to the Giants for the 2020 season.

It’s a rarely used tender, but Giants head coach Joe Judge comes from the New England school of yanking out little-known rules to their advantage. The tender does several things. It forces Golden to reset his value in the marketplace so that he can find a new team whether that be the Giants or not. More importantly, if he does sign with another team it makes him eligible for the compensatory pick formula in 2021. Right now, the Giants are severely underwater on that end and could use some help, although noting is guaranteed.

Judge, speaking on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, spoke of the current situation regarding Golden.

“Yes, I have spoken with Markus,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for him as a player. He’s a great person, he’s a hard worker. He’s a productive player so we have a lot of respect for him. He’s definitely someone that I have spoken to in terms of possibly adding to the roster. We placed the tag on him. That’s something that’s allotted to us through the league rules. We thought that it was a situation when it came up and was available to us, it was something we could use.”

“We have an interest in Markus, we’ve talked to him. We are going through the procedure right now. We’re going to let it play out a little bit and see where everything shakes out.”

Golden had ten sacks for the Giants in 2019 playing on a one-year ‘prove-it’ deal worth $3.75 million. He went into free agency seeking a contract that would pay him approximately $10 million per year. No team has the appetite for that and he remains unsigned to this day.

The 29-year-old Golden was brought in last year to play under then defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who coached Golden to a 12.5 sack season in Arizona several years ago. Golden rekindled his career in 2019 after two down seasons marred by injury and a position change but not enough to pique the interest of NFL GMs.

Where the Giants see Golden fitting into defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s schemes is unknown but you can’t have enough pass rushers and right now the Giants don’t seem to have many at all.

The rubber will meet the road on this in the terms of how much it will cost the Giants to sign Golden. hey currently have $16.9 million in available salary cap space but $12 million of that is earmarked for the 2020 draft class.