Giants Pass Rusher Could Be a Sleeper Signing for Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

Getty The Seahawks could look at Giants pass rusher Markus Golden.

The Seattle Seahawks may have to move on to other options if Jadeveon Clowney does not make a decision soon. One of the pass rushers that has flown under the radar is Giants’ Markus Golden despite the defensive end notching 10 sacks and 72 tackles last season.

The Seahawks have consistently been linked to Everson Griffen as a backup option, but Golden should be a name to watch for Seattle as he remains on the market. SNY.TV’s Ralph Vacchiano reported that Golden is unlikely to re-sign with the Giants.

“Golden probably had a shot to come back, but after registering 10 ½ sacks while playing on a one-year, $3.75 million, prove-it contract in 2019, he was looking for a heck of a lot more than the Giants were willing to pay,” Vacchiano explained.

Golden Was Reportedly Seeking $10 Million Annually

One of the consistent themes of the NFL offseason has been players striking out on the contract figure they were initially seeking. Golden was initially seeking a $10 million salary but that “ship has sailed,” per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.

“[Asking] too much money,” sources told ESPN.

The Seahawks had a similar experience with Clowney who was initially seeking more than $20 million annually, which is double Golden’s target salary. Neither player is likely to land what they were looking for, but the Seahawks could afford to give Golden a reasonable contract if Clowney walks in free agency.

Golden Has Been Unable to Post Back-to-Back Seasons With Double-Digit Sacks

There may be some skepticism over whether Golden can continue his trajectory from last season. Golden notched 12.5 sacks in 2016 only to have a combined two sacks in the following two seasons. This likely has some teams wondering if Golden’s performance last season was more of an outlier.

If the price is right, Golden still offers a team like the Seahawks value on a short-term deal to see if he can continue his ability to get to the quarterback. Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith noted that Golden has played his best football in a 3-4 defense rather than the Seahawks traditional 4-3 front but believes he could be a fit at the LEO position.

“Considering how well Golden played last year, why hasn’t he found a home yet? It all comes down to scheme fit and durability questions… At 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, he may be better suited for Seattle’s LEO defensive end spot than a limited sample size from two years ago suggests,” Smith explained.

The Seahawks Could Look to Sign Both Griffen & Golden

If Clowney does not re-sign, the Seahawks could look to fill the void in the short-term by signing both Griffen and Golden. One of the Seahawks’ most successful free agencies came when they signed both Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril to short-term deals. The Seahawks could take the same approach this offseason by signing Griffen and Golden as they are both without deals more than a month into free agency.

Seattle has already signed Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa this offseason. Both players began their careers with the Seahawks and were part of the defense when the unit was at its apex under Pete Carroll. If the Seahawks opt to continue going bargain shopping, Golden is among the best remaining options.

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