By most accounts, the New York Giants came away from the 2020 NFL Draft as one of the most improved teams across the board in all the NFL. However, the additions of potential franchise offensive tackle Andrew Thomas and an influx of talent on the backend of their defense thanks to the arrivals of Xavier McKinney and Darnay Holmes won’t directly help the Giants get after the opponent’s quarterback.
Big Blue entered the draft with a glaring hole at edge rusher, and as we sit here today, that hole still burns deep. Yet, Dave Gettleman and company appear to have a little something up their sleeve to address the team’s lack of pass-rush.
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Giants Place UFA Tender on Markus Golden
The Giants have placed a “May 5 tender” on unrestricted free agent edge defender Markus Golden, first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates. The tender assures that if Golden fails to land a contract with another team past July 22nd, he can only play for New York next season.
Keeping Golden in New York on the UFA tender would mean keeping a double-digit sack-artist at not only a team-friendly price, but a bargain. The Giants would retain Golden’s exclusive rights at 110% of his previous compensation package, which is $5.225 million.
Golden is still allowed to negotiate a deal with other teams at the moment. Should he sign with another team prior to the deadline date, Big Blue would fail to receive any initial compensation for the loss of their 2019 sack-leader. However, Golden would then count towards the following season’s compensatory pick formula.
Here’s a full explanation of the rarely-used tender, per NFL rules & operations:
May 5: Deadline for prior club to send “May 5 Tender” to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a player contract with a club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a player contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m., New York time, only with his prior club.
The last team to use the “May 5 Tender” was, who else, but the Patriots. New England placed the UFA Tender on running back LeGarrette Blount in 2017. Blount would eventually go on to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the tender’s deadline.
Golden Likely to Play for Giants or Lions
Golden put forth a brilliant 2019 season with the Giants. He appeared in all 16 games, proving to be an uber-productive playmaker on the edge of New York’s defense. Golden led all Giants in sacks with 10, while also ranking within the top 15 league-wide in both tackles for loss and quarterback hits. However, despite his tremendous production, interest in Golden on the open market has been extremely dry.
Over the past weekend, sources close to Golden informed NY Post’s Pat Ragazzo that the Detroit Lions were just one of two teams to engage in “recent dialogue” with the edge-defender, with the Giants being the other.
Detroit ranked dead last in team sacks a season ago with 28. They did, however, add defensive end Julian Okwara in the 3rd-Round of this past weekend’s draft.
New York, on the other hand, is currently set to enter 2020 with Kyler Fackrell as their most feared pass-rusher. Although, considering he registered just one sack in 2019, feared may not be the best word to describe the team’s free-agent signing from Green Bay.