Eagles Should Consider Stealing Giants’ Best Pass-Rusher

Markus Golden

Getty Markus Golden celebrates a big play.

The Eagles don’t appear interested in adding a dominant edge rusher in free agency. If they did, Everson Griffen or Jadeveon Clowney would be in Philly.

However, there is one other name floating around that could threaten the balance of power in the NFC East. When the Giants placed the seldom-used unrestricted free agent tender on Markus Golden, it was widely considered that New York would sign him to a lucrative long-term deal. The pass-rushing outside linebacker recorded 10 sacks in 2019, tops on the Giants. Golden has 29 career sacks and 69 quarterback hits in five NFL seasons.

For now, Golden remains a fixture in New York and starter on their defensive line. The one-year tender will pay him $3.75 million, plus $2.25 in guaranteed money, per Spotrac. It is well under what he’s worth. But another team — perhaps an intense NFC East rival like the Eagles? — could come swooping in with a better offer. The deadline for Golden to sign elsewhere is July 22.

“I have a lot of respect for him as a player,” Giants coach Joe Judge said, via the team’s official website. “He’s a great person, he’s a hard worker. He’s a productive player so we have a lot of respect for him. 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.”

If the Giants really wanted to sign Golden to a long-term deal, they would have done it already. They are likely calling his bluff and looking for a cheaper option. New York employs a 3-4 defensive scheme and prefers their linebackers to rush the quarterback. Remember, the Giants doled out big money to former Packer Blake Martinez in free agency.

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Giants Appear Out on Clowney Sweepstakes

Golden is betting on himself and hoping another team breaks the bank. The Giants won’t do that. The linebacker will play under the unrestricted free agent tender in New York or he’ll probably be heading elsewhere in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Giants have been loosely linked to Clowney. Although Giants GM Dave Gettleman indicated that he’ll focus on lower-priced options. Gettleman specifically said the Giants are “not in that position now” to add a high-priced edge rusher. Paul Schwartz of the New York Post stated that Clowney is no longer on the Giants’ radar.

Clowney was also briefly linked to signing with the Eagles but those talks have soured. The former Seahawks defensive end hasn’t backed down from his demand for $21 million per year. No one is paying Clowney that much money.

Philadelphia has refused to pay that kind of money for any free agent pass rusher, let alone the guy who knocked Carson Wentz out of the playoffs. It’s just not happening. The Eagles appear content to head into training camp with Josh Sweat looking to take over that role.

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