While the New York Jets have plenty of strong units on both sides of the ball, their past rash could be problematic in 2020. Having recently cut Trumaine Johnson, who they coughed up $34.5 million guaranteed money for in 2018, they now have $11 million in cap-saving to spend elsewhere.
The Jets recently signed veteran quarterback Joe Flacco to supplement any injuries to Sam Darnold, but their spending might not end there. Currently, the Jets seem confident in Jordan Jenkins as their most active pass rusher.
Jenkins has a fantastic motor and is a positive influence in the locker room, but he posted a significant amount of his production against backup players over the last two seasons. He’s posted 14 total tackles in that time span, and three of them came again starting offensive tackles. That shows us that Jenkins might not be as efficient and productive as we would hope, which makes the idea of signing Markus Golden intriguing.
Golden is an intriguing player that would project as a 3-4 outside linebacker and Gregg Williams defensive scheme. Last season, he posted 10 sacks with the Giants on a one-year deal, paying him $4.75 million. Golden could be a significant add for the Jets, who are looking for an established pass rusher without the monstrous price tag. Jadeveon Clowney still remains a free agent and a possibility, but his asking price is so astronomically large that even dabbling in his market seems like malpractice. Nonetheless, that opens up at the opportunity for Golden to join the Jets on a much cheaper deal.
The Giants recently placed a free agent tender on golden, which would pay him 110% of his 2019 salary on a one-year deal for 2020. However, golden is still seeking a long-term extension that would pay him more per season. The Jets could offer him a 2-3 year deal to hold him over, averaging in the $8 million-per range.
Golden only produced one year of solid play, which could take away from his monetary expectations. That’s why a number like $8 million seems to be fair and reasonable.
If the Jets are willing to take a flier on a two-year deal, paying him $16 million with $10 million guaranteed, I believe it would only benefit the defense as a whole. He’s also a leader and a positive contribution to the locker-room.