Typically, when a player on the right side of 30-years-old, fresh off a 10 sack campaign, who has recorded double-digit sacks in each of his previous two healthy seasons hits the open market, he’s flooded with interest.
Unfortunately, that couldn’t have been further from the truth for New York Giants edge defender Markus Golden this offseason.
Despite recording the most single-season sacks by a Giants defender over the last five years, Golden’s free-agency market was essentially dry, with Big Blue even stingy about the financial commitment they were willing to place on their leading sack artist.
As you could expect, that left the former Missouri-standout quite peeved this summer. However, he appears ready to move forward.
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Markus Golden Admits Frustration; Ready to Roll
“Business is business. I’ve always had a business mindset,” Golden told reporters during a Monday Zoom call, where the pass-rusher admitted to having no previous knowledge of the seldomly-used May 5 Tender prior to Big Blue placing it on him this offseason.
Golden acknowledged that the way things played out was certainly a bit frustrating, but noted that ultimately, “you just never know; you got to take it and roll with it.”
Golden officially inked his UFA Tender last Tuesday, returning to the Giants on an extremely team-friendly, one-year deal worth “roughly $5.1M”. While it may not be the type of money Golden, nor many outsiders expected the edge defender to receive on the free agency market, the 29-year-old is simply happy to be playing the game he loves.
“I feel good about being back. It’s a good place. At the end of the day, I love playing ball,” Golden said. “I play the game for my family. I play the game to win.”
Golden Knows His Worth
While Golden appears to be taking the glass half full approach in terms of his contract situation, he still remains bullish about his abilities on the football field, stating “If you don’t know what I can do by now, you are not even worth proving it to,” and he has a solid point.
Golden’s 10 sacks in 2019 are likely the first thing to jump off the stat sheet to Giants fans, and rightfully so. Prior to Golden’s arrival, Jason Pierre-Paul’s 12.5 sacks way back in 2014 was the last time a Giants player had record double-digit sacks.
With that said, Golden proved to be much more than one-trick pony during his first season in New York. Golden not only ranked within the top-15 league-wide in sacks but also in tackles for loss and quarterback hits. Not to mention, Golden appeared in all 16-regular season games in 2019, quite possibly his most impressive feat on the season, as he had not done so since 2016.
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