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Markus Golden passes physical, signs tender

Rarely-used move to tender unrestricted free agent pays off for Giants

New York Giants v Washington Redskins
Markus Golden
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Markus Golden has passed his physical and signed his unrestricted free agent tender, the New York Giants announced on Tuesday morning.

Markus Golden reported to the New York Giants on Saturday, per a variety of published. Golden will sign the seldom-used unrestricted free agent tender the Giants placed on him and will play for the team in 2020 at the conclusion of the five-day COVID-19 testing period.

The tender is worth 110 percent of Golden’s 2019 salary, which will amount to $4.125 million.

Golden entered free agency having had a bounce back 10.0-sack season while playing for the Giants on a one-year “prove it” contract. After a breakout 12.5-sack 2016 season with the Arizona Cardinals, Golden suffered a knee injury in 2017. Over the 2017 and 2018 seasons he played only 15 games and had just 2.5 sacks.

He played all 16 games for the Giants last season, making 72 tackles and compiling 27 quarterback hits. He also played a career-high 917 snaps, proving that he was completely healthy.

Giants coach Joe Judge was asked about Golden back in May.

“I have a lot of respect for him as a player. He’s a great person, he’s a hard worker. He’s a productive player so we have a lot of respect for him,” Judge said. “He’s definitely someone that I have spoken to in terms of possibly adding to the roster. We placed the tag on him. That’s something that’s allotted to us through the league rules. We thought that it was a situation when it came up and was available to us, it was something we could use.”

It was, and by using it the Giants have added a productive player to their defense.

Golden entered free agency expecting a robust market since teams generally pay a premium for pass rushers. He didn’t find one and is now back with the Giants, essentially playing on another “prove it” contract once he signs the tender. He joins an edge group that includes Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines and Kyler Fackrell.