The New York Giants are entering the 2020 season with major question marks on defense. Their pass rush will be a hit or miss, as they are relying on young players like Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter to step up and make an impact. They’re also depending on the interior defensive line to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks, which attest to the franchise tag they placed on Leonard Williams this off-season.
However, Markus Golden is sitting idly by waiting for another team to snatch him up and take him away from the New York Giants. New head coach Joe Judge implemented the rarely used free-agent tender on Golden, who led the team in sacks in 2019. Essentially, Golden has until July 22 to land a deal elsewhere before guaranteeing his stay with the Giants for at least one more season.
The fact that Golden hasn’t been signed yet attest to how teams view him as a long-term option at the position. While he did post 10.0 sacks in 2019, most of his production came on the back-end of plays and coverage sacks. Nonetheless, he played well against the run and held his own on the edge, earning a second contract from the Giants, which would count $5.2 million next season. The free-agent tender guarantees 110% of his 2019 salary, and that would be a steal considering the value he brought to the team last year.
The Giants need as much pass rush help as they can get, and Golden brings experience and consistency to the position. I am not comfortable relying solely on Ximines and Carter to keep pressure on the quarterback, especially against tougher teams.
The Giants also brought in Kyler Fackrell, who they are expecting to replicate Golden’s production in 2020. Fackrell played under Patrick Graham as his linebackers coach in 2018 when he posted 10.5 sacks, 42 combined tackles, and 12 quarterback hits. He was extremely efficient in rushing the passer and would pair up well if the team manages to retain Golden for one more season.
Nonetheless, Markus has one more month to secure a multi-year deal that pays him more than $5.2 million per season with a mother team. Given his value, I’m surprised he hasn’t been picked up yet, but there is still a good chance he will not play for the Giants moving forward.