Signing Markus Golden is probably the single best free agency move Dave Gettleman has made with the NY Giants, but what is the pass rusher really worth this off-season?
The NY Giants are going to have a tough decision to make when it comes to negotiating with fan-favorite Markus Golden. Dave Gettleman may have swung and missed multiple times when it came to Arizona Cardinals cast-offs, but he hit a grand slam when he brought on Golden for only $3.5M in 2019.
Golden went on the have what may have been the best season of his NFL career with Big Blue, racking up 72 tackles, 10 sacks, and 27 quarterback hits. With edge rusher being such a high priority of need heading into 2020, many NY Giants fans want to see Golden back in the fold next year.
The question becomes what is Golden’s true value on the open market, and should the Giants be willing to pay it? After playing for such a team-friendly deal in 2019, Golden is not likely to give Big Blue any type of hometown discount and is going to be looking to cash in for the first time in his career.
Injuries have been the main concern when it comes to the former Missouri Tiger, but he mostly dispelled those notions by playing a full 16 game schedule in 2019. A torn ACL derailed his career early on, but as we’ve seen time and time again, players can easily come back from that injury and regain their original form – that seems to be the case with Golden.
Right now, Lorenzo Carter is the best edge rusher currently under contract for next season. With $61M in cap space – and more coming after cuts – the Giants have the money to add a quality one via free agency.
According to Spotrac, Markus Golden’s value on the open market is a 4/$54M deal ($13.5M per season). That contract would make him the sixth-highest paid outside linebacker in all of football, and is probably too rich for the Giants to consider. Golden and his agent would likely want at least half of that guaranteed, meaning Big Blue wouldn’t be able to move on from him until his age 31 season at the earliest.
The Giants could do far worse than Markus Golden when it comes to filling their vacant outside linebacker spot, but to be fair, we’ve already seen what this defense looks like with him on it. It’s obviously not right to put the defense’s struggles on him, but the thought of only bringing back Golden and not doing much else to the defense isn’t one that exudes a ton of confidence.
The proper way to handle this is to offer Golden a deal more in the 4/$40M range and see what happens. With his injury history, that may be in the ballpark of the best offer he gets. There will be a ton of teams desperate for pass-rushers, but maybe he enjoyed his time in New York and the extra one-or-two million per year won’t be enough to get him to leave.
At the end of the day, Markus Golden massively out-performed his 2019 deal and has every reason to chase every last dollar he can.