Shaun O’Hara said on NFL.com that he felt that Everson Griffen was a good fit for the NY Giants. A case can be made for signing both he and Markus Golden.
Today on NFL.com, Shaun O’Hara suggested that Everson Griffen would be a perfect fit with the NY Giants as a free agent signing. He feels he would be an excellent mentor on the field for young pass rushers like Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter. See the video here:
Griffen could be an excellent bargain pass rusher for the Giants. He’s 32-years-old and could likely be had in the $6.5-$7.5 million a year range. Last season Griffen had 41 total tackles, eight sacks, 24 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, and one interception fo the Minnesota Vikings. Those statistics suggest that there is plenty of gas left in the tank for Griffen.
Following the season, he opted out of the final three years of his $58 million dollar contract. It was likely that Griffen would have been a cap casualty for the cap-strapped Vikings if he had not decided to opt-out. Minnesota remains a viable option to re-sign Griffen, who has also been frequently linked to the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.
The Vikings have employed a 4-3 defensive scheme for a number of years now, where Griffen has lined up as a traditional defensive end. At 6’3″ and 275-pounds, it would be interesting to see how the Giants would utilize him in their 3-4 defensive scheme, as he profiles as an edge rusher, but might be too big to do so from the outside linebacker position.
However, it is possible that new NY Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham would covet the idea of the versatility of having Everson Griffen line up on the defensive line or at outside linebacker depending on the subpackage.
As long as he would have his hand in the dirt – which we saw a bunch from Markus Golden in the 3-4 outside linebacker position – he would likely be a force; the only concern would be him having to occasionally cover passing routes.
The NY Giants have a young group of defensive lineman and outside linebackers with pass-rushing potential that has been somewhat unrecognized thus far from players like Leonard Williams (25-years-old), Dalvin Tomlinson (25-yo), Dexter Lawrence (22-yo), B.J. Hill (25-yo), Lorenzo Carter (24-yo), and Oshane Ximines (23-yo). Griffen could be a veteran leader who assists them in reaching their pass-rushing potential as O’Hara suggests.
Another pass-rushing free agent that has been linked to the NY Giants is Markus Golden, who led the Giants in sacks last season with ten. The Giants opted to placed a rarely used “May 5th” tender on him in April, which increased the likelihood that Golden may return to New York.
Despite being tendered, Golden is free to negotiate with any team he chooses. If he is unable to sign, the Giants can bring him back on a team-friendly deal that is worth 110% of his salary last season. He will have until July 22nd to sign with another team or will have to sign with the Giants by the 10th week of the season.
Golden would provide another legitimate pass rusher to the outside linebacker group of Kyler Fackrell, Carter, and Ximines. The Giants are intimately familiar with what the 29-year-old veteran Golden brings to the table after playing with them following signing a one-year $3.75 million deal with them last season.
The NY Giants currently have around $16 million remaining in cap space but will require roughly $12 million of that to sign their 2020 NFL Draft picks. As a result, they will have around $4 million left in cap room. There a number of players currently on the roster who are on smaller contracts that could become cap casualties to offset some of the rookie contracts and still allow the Giants to sign Golden or Griffen.
As it stands, it would be unlikely that the Giants would be able to sign both Griffen and Golden to deals due to their salary cap constraints. However, let’s float one possible scenario out there that could free up enough cap space to allow this to happen.
Adding Everson Griffen and Markus Golden would be huge for the NY Giants
That idea is extending Leonard Williams, who currently has a $16 million franchise tag assigned to him that counts against next season’s cap. If the Giants were able to extend Williams, reduce the annual value from $16 million this season, and move some of the money to later in the contract, they would conceivably be able to free up enough space to sign both Golden and Griffen.
Furthermore, with there being a real chance of Big Blue landing Golden’s 2020 services at the affordable cost of that $5.1M ‘May 5 Tender’, this is something that’s actually now possible.
If Dave Gettleman were able to pull this off, the pass rush of the NY Giants would become significantly better with the return of Markus Golden and the addition of Griffen to this talented young core of pass rushers. Suddenly, with the offseason additions of James Bradberry, Blake Martinez, Xavier McKinney, Kyler Fackrell, Darnay Holmes via the draft and free agency, this defense would seem much more formidable.