New York Giants: Markus Golden hits out at team over playing time

New York Jets, Markus Golden
Oct 10, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Giants linebacker Markus Golden (44) reacts after a sack on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The case of Markus Golden for the New York Giants has been an interesting one. During the 2019 season, Golden was a surprise hit and led the team in sacks during a year when they struggled in that category. The following season, Golden would fall out of the spotlight after it initially appeared he wouldn’t end up with the Giants again and then lost much of his playing time. Eventually, he was traded back to the Arizona Cardinals – the same team that he started with before ending up in New York.

Since leaving the Giants, however, Golden would pick up his game and would finish the season as part of one of the top QB pressuring duos in the league, in Arizona. When this fact was highlighted by Pro Football Focus on Twitter, Golden was quick to take to the site to remind the Giants about that, also.

Golden would be less a part of the defense under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. While Graham made most of the defense better under his watch, it appears Golden was one player who experienced an opposite effect. He was a starter for 9 games last season, compared to starting every game during the 2019 season. Of those games, 8 of them came with Arizona and only one start came with the Giants.

Golden would also only register 10 tackles with the Giants in 2020. That’s a big step down from the 72 from the previous year.

The role of pass rushing leader was mainly taken over by Leonard Williams. Williams had one of the biggest improvements under Graham, jumping to double digit sacks and setting himself up for a payday – but whether that payday is with the Giants or another team remains to be seen.

Either way, given the trade, it won’t be Golden leading the sacks column like in 2019.