Markus Golden may not have an All-Pro berth under his belt, nor a Pro Bowl bid. However, what the recently re-signed New York Giants pass-rusher does have is statistics that firmly cement him amongst the elite sack artists in all of football.
Golden has now recorded a total of 22.5 sacks over each of the past two seasons in which he appeared in more than 11 games. Those numbers include a double-digit sack campaign in 2019, marking the first time a Giants defender has accumulated 10-plus sacks in a single-season since Jason Pierre-Paul’s 12.5 way back in 2014.
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Brett Bielema on Giants’ OLBs: ‘There isn’t Any True All-Stars’
Despite Golden’s prolific production, his new position coach in New York, Brett Bielema, is hesitant to label the former second-round pick, nor any of his fellow outside linebackers for that matter, as a “true all-star.”
“There isn’t any true all-stars, just guys who show up to work every day,” Bielema told reporters of Big Blue’s arsenal of pass-rushers. “They have a blue-collar mentality. They represent the New York Giant blue really, really well. They are hard workers.”
While Bielema did eventually heap praise on the group as a whole, his comments do appear to align with the front office’s viewpoint on Golden. Along with the notable sack numbers mentioned above, Golden also ranked within the top-15 of the NFL in both tackles for loss and quarterback hits.
However, the Giants opted not to reward the former Missouri standout with a sizeable contract this offseason. Instead, New York chose to place the seldomly-used UFA tender on Golden, in return re-upping him for just one season at an extremely team-friendly price tag of “roughly $5.1M“.
With that said, the Giants organization isn’t the only team to cast their doubts on Golden’s standing among the league’s elite pass-rushers this offseason, as he sat on the open market for months with essentially no bites from other teams.
Bielema Sings Youngsters Praises
Despite their somewhat lackluster commitment towards Golden this offseason, the veteran is still penciled in as one of Big Blue’s starters on the edge of their defense. The job for who starts opposite Golden is still very much up for grabs, and rookies Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin are both very much throwing their hat in the ring.
“Yeah, they have been a lot of fun. Two different kinds of guys,” said Bielema of the two late-round draft picks. “Carter played on the line of scrimmage, did a lot of things on the edge at Minnesota. Cam was an edge to air player, he was in space a lot. A very long player, Carter is a little bit more of an on the line of scrimmage linebacker. It’s been fun. Both uniquely different but both great to work with on a daily basis.”
“What’s impressive to me is the way the vets have responded to them. You knew they were going to respond to the vets, but sometimes the vets aren’t as reciprocal.” Bielema added, “All four of our veteran players do everything they can to make them better. It really makes our room pretty cool.”
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