The New York Giants retained Markus Golden on a free-agent tender last week, despite him not signing his contract just yet. The Giants will owe him 110% of his 2019 salary, which based on his sack production would suggest he is vastly underpaid. However, his success rate rushing the passer doesn’t blow any minds.
Golden is coming off a 10.0 sack performance in 2019, after signing a one-year “prove it” deal with the Giants. His last productive season was in 2016 when he recorded 12.5 sacks and 22 quarterback hits. Considering he played 83% of defensive snaps with the Giants last year, totaling 917 plays, his numbers are heavily based on sample size.
His total snaps were nearly 200 more than any other season, with his second-highest being in 2016. He is nowhere near an elite pass rusher.
If you stack him up against Oshane Ximines, who earned just 503 snaps last year, their stats would be somewhat similar. Oshane would have logged about 9.0 sacks and 18 quarterback hits in the same sample size, as a rookie. With a year of experience under his belt, Ximines should see an increase in productivity.
Why the New York Giants might be better off without Markus Golden:
The reality is, Big Blue is still in the middle of a rebuild and need to focus on their youth players. Refining their young talent and developing them for the future part is the ultimate goal. Golden only takes away defensive snaps from players like Ximines and Lorenzo Carter.
The Giants also signed Kyler Fackrell on a one year, $4.6 million deal to supplement the expected loss of Golden. However, bringing him back will likely cement him at a starting position, which will only force Ximines into a deeper hole. Coming off a solid rookie campaign, he’s deserving of more snaps.
Golden has the decision to wait until week 10 to sign with a new team, but he would not be able to play during the 2020 regular season. Otherwise, he will play for the Giants on a one-year, $4.125 million deal.