The deadline for OLB Markus Golden to be able to sign a free-agent contract with teams other than the New York Giants has officially passed as of 4 PM on Wednesday:
Today's 4 p.m. deadline has come and gone – and Markus Golden's rights have returned back to the Giants. pic.twitter.com/FVHqOfffMI— GiantsWFAN (@giantswfan) July 22, 2020
The calculated risk they took when they placed the rarely used unrestricted free agent tender on Golden back in April has come much closer to paying off. The fact that Golden has remained unsigned past the deadline means that if he wants to play at all this season it can only be with the Giants.
If he signs the “May 5” tender, which he has yet to do and it is unclear when he will, then he will play on a 1-year deal worth $4.125 million, which is 110 percent of his salary from last season. He doesn’t have to sign the tender right away, as he has until Week 10 of the season to do so, or else he must sit out the rest of the season.
There was some uncertainty as to when the deadline for the tender would actually be, as the original date was the first day of NFL training camp which got pushed back from Wednesday at 4 PM to July 28th, so there was speculation that the deadline would be moved as well. That, however, ended up not being the case.
Golden was looking to cash out in free agency this offseason after proving he returned to full health from a torn ACL he suffered back in 2017 as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. On a 1-year, “prove it” deal, Golden racked up a team-leading 10 sacks for the Giants and played all 16 games, but unfortunately fell victim to a weak market for the free agent edge rushers and wasn’t able to cash in.
Joe Judge expressed interest in bringing back Golden earlier in the offseason but the two parties didn’t come to an agreement on a contract, which prompted the Giants to place the UFA tender on him. Here’s what Judge said in May about Golden and potentially bringing him back:
“I have a lot of respect for Markus as a player and as a person. I think he’s a tremendous guy. I think he’s a hard worker, a tough guy, he’s a productive guy on the field. So we’ve expressed it internally and we’ve talked with him as well about possibly having a fit.”
If Golden does sign the tender and returns to the team, he would reclaim his starting spot along the defensive line and provide a huge, much-needed boost to the Giants’ pass rush.