Markus Golden could end up being a member of the New York Giants in 2020 after all as the Giants have placed a seldom-used Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) tender on the pass-rushing edge defender that would cost the Giants $4.125 million.
The tender, per Field Yates, means that if Golden remains unsigned by another NFL team past July 22 that the Giants would have his exclusive rights. Meaning, of course, the Giants would be the only team Golden could play for in 2020.
Playing on a one-year prove it contract for the Giants in 2019 after two seasons wrecked by a 2017 knee injury, Golden posted 10 sacks in 2019. He entered free agency looking for a lucrative multi-year deal, but that has yet to materialize.
The Giants added only Kyler Fackrell to their pass rush, being unable to find either a top-tier free agent or an edge rusher in the draft.
GM Dave Gettleman was asked following the draft if the Giants had enough pass-rushing talent.
“It’s one of those deals where, as I’ve said before, sometimes people think that all of the sacks have got to come from one to two guys. It’s a group effort. As Joe [Judge] said, we’re going to constantly evaluate. Roster building is a 12-month season. It’s 365 and it’s 24/7,” Gettleman said. “At the end of the day, we feel good about where we’re at, but we’ll continue to try to improve it. We’re going to take a look at what we’ve got and you know part of it’s going to be scheme. I’ve got a lot of confidence in (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Pat Graham and Joe and the defensive guys. We’re going to be fine.
“It’ll get better. No, we didn’t draft what you guys would call a blue-goose pass rusher, but a lot of the time it’s a group effort. It’s not about who gets the sacks, it’s about the number of sacks and the number of pressures.”
What the Giants have basically done here is set the market for the 29-year-old Golden, telling anyone else who might want him they will have to exceed their price tag.
Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald explains that the UFA tender can only be used on an unrestricted free agent who is unsigned once the compensatory free agent period is over. That ended at 4 p.m. ET on Monday.
Fitzgerald added this:
The tender amount is equal to 110% of his prior year salary. For Golden he earned last year $3.725M so the tender for him is well under what he was expected to earn as a free agent making it a reasonable cost. Golden’s tender should equal $4.098 million plus a $25,000 workout bonus and $1 million in incentives. That is likely a reason why the Giants chose to do this while teams like the Seahawks passed on extending a tender to Jadeveon Clowney.
The Giants, because they signed so many free agents this offseason, don’t stand to gain any compensatory draft selections even if Golden signs with another team so it is doubtful that they care about the compensatory aspect of this unless they simply do not want a rival to get away with signing a player and not having it impact their compensatory selections for the year. For example lets say they had word that a team like the Cowboys was going to sign Golden but were waiting to execute it to protect their four projected 2021 comp picks. This doesn’t allow the Cowboys to do that kind of move so I guess it could be gamesmanship on the Giants part but more likely they just want to hold his rights.