It’s the fifth day of free agency, counting the legal tampering window, and there is still an abundance of pass-rushers on the market. Numerous ones with whom the New York Giants have been readily connected to, mainly Jadeveon Clowney.
Plus, teams appear more willing than ever to move on from superstars, as numerous trades have gone down the past few days, most notably DeAndre Hopkins landing in Arizona. This has led many to connect the dots between Big Blue and the Jacksonville Jaguars on a potential Yannick Ngakoue deal.
However, despite the superstar ability still on the market, the Giants’ best option to shore-up their pass rush may very well be committing to one of their own before they let him get away.
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Giants Should Not Let Markus Golden Walk
A year ago at this time, the New York Giants inked edge-rusher Markus Golden to a one-year prove it deal, and prove it he did. Golden showed the ability to stay healthy, playing in all 16-games with Big Blue a season ago, after numerous injury-riddled seasons in Arizona. More importantly, he produced. Golden notched 10 sacks in 2019, the first Giants player to accumulate double-digit sacks in a season since Jason Pierre-Paul in 2014.
Interestingly enough, those 10 sacks in 2019 for Golden are more sacks than Ngakoue has recorded in three of his four NFL seasons, while Clowney has still yet to surpass 9.5 sacks in any of his six years as a pro, averaging just 5.3 sacks per season.
So while the majority of Giants fans have been clamoring to make a move for a big-named edge defender all offseason, the G-Men’s best option may have very well been under their nose the whole time.
It’s also worth noting that Golden is likely not garnering the type of attention he had hoped, nor that he deserves on the open market, as we are almost a week into free agency and there’s been little to no chatter about him and potential suitors. This likely plays well into New York’s hand, potentially landing a productive playmaker at a reduced price.
Still, after a free agency spending spree that has ridden the Giants of most of their cap space, New York will likely need to move around some money to make the signing of Golden work, mainly agreeing to terms on a long-term deal with Leonard Williams and potentially restructuring Nate Solder’s contract.
Jags-Ngakoue Asking Price, Clowney’s Contract Demands, Too Steep
We’ve already touched on the limited production of both players from a purely sack-based standpoint. While Ngakoue is head-and-heels above Clowney in his pass-rushing ability, and in the right system would likely blossom into a year-in, year-out double-digit sack artist, Clowney’s ability to get to the quarterback is still in question.
This is likely why Clowney has not received the $20+ million per year contract offers he hoped to garner in free agency, and why he still remains a free agent despite being one of the biggest names on the market.
Ngakoue, on the other hand, has seemed destined to find his way out of Jacksonville since the end of 2019, and the Jag’s recent fire sale of defenders has done little to deter that opinion.
However, Jacksonville is reportedly holding Ngakoue to a much higher degree than recent Jaguars castoffs such as AJ Bouye and Calais Campbell. Both of whom were dealt for a meager fourth-round, and fifth-round draft pick, respectively.
Yet, In Ngakoue’s case, the Jaguars’ reported price to acquire their star defender starts at a first-round pick, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
So, unless their price drops, you can expect the Giants out on Ngakoue, as New York is highly unlikely to move on from a top-five overall pick to acquire him.
Also, as we’ve stated numerous times, the Giants’ cap situation is extremely tight. Ngakoue’s contract is up after the 2020 season, and he will want to be paid, likely upon arriving at his new team, something that will be very difficult for Big Blue to pull off.
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