Markus Golden

No Offers For Giants’ Markus Golden?

Thanks to the rarely used unrestricted free agent tender, Giants edge rusher Markus Golden has a one-year, $4.125MM offer on the table. Or, he can sign with a new club between now and the upcoming deadline. So far, it doesn’t sound like the former second-round pick has received any outside offers, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

[RELATED: Latest On Giants’ DeAndre Baker]

Golden has until July 22nd or the start of training camp (whichever date comes later) to ink the Giants’ one-year placeholder. At last check, the NFL is aiming to start camp on July 28th, which gives him an extra week to scare up a deal.

The former second-rounder showed flashes during his four seasons in Arizona, including a 12.5-sack season in 2016. Then, he was hampered by injuries. After he landed a one-year, $3.75MM deal with the Giants last year, he turned in a fully healthy season with 72 tackles and 10 sacks. Those numbers would usually spell lucrative offers, but teams probably see Golden’s sack numbers as a fluke, The 29-year-old generated just 26 pressures last year, an indicator that he might not repeat with double-digit sack totals in 2020.

It’s possible that Golden’s market has also stalled by the continued availability of edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen. If those veterans come off the board, other teams in need could turn to Golden, who would represent a less splashy – but less costly – alternative.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top Remaining Free Agents

While most of the top free agents in this year’s cycle have long since signed with new clubs, there are plenty of potential difference-makers still available. Those players remain on the market for various reasons — price tag, injury concerns, etc. — but they all could be a key factor in the fortunes of whatever team they ultimately join. Let’s take a look at the best of who’s still out there:

  1. Jadeveon Clowney: If you think you’ve been reading a lot about Clowney over the past couple of months, you’re right. That’s what happens when a former No. 1 overall pick and a young dynamic talent is still up for grabs this late in the offseason. Clowney’s high asking price, originally said to be $20MM per year, certainly scared some teams off, as did his recent core muscle surgery. Some will also point to his relatively low sack totals as evidence that he is not the dynamic pass rushing force that he believes himself to be. But he undeniably has the chops to be a game-changer against the run and pass, and he is content to wait for the right situation to come along. Once teams have the opportunity to evaluate him themselves, his market should heat up rapidly.
  2. Cam Newton: Here’s another former No. 1 overall pick that we have written a great deal about recently. Like Clowney, the 2015 MVP may be signed by now if interested teams could have their own doctors examine him, and Newton is willing to be patient and wait for that to happen if waiting will allow him to secure a starting gig somewhere. But at this point, it looks like only an injury or major underpeformance will open the door for a QB1 role in 2020, so he may have to settle for a top backup job for now and hit the free agent market again in 2021. He is reportedly warming to that idea.
  3. Everson Griffen: Like Clowney, Griffen is a talented pass rusher, but unlike Clowney, Griffen has multiple double-digit sack campaigns under his belt. The 32-year-old posted eight QB takedowns in 2019, and it is a little surprising to see him unsigned this late in the process. A reunion with the Vikings may be in the cards, and the Seahawks are the only other club to be connected to Griffen at this point.
  4. Jason Peters: The only reason Peters isn’t signed yet is because of his age (38). He turned in a typically terrific season in 2019, and he has been connected to a number of clubs over the past couple of months. The problem is, many of those teams have filled their needs at the offensive tackle spots, so even though Peters has said that he is willing to play on the left or the right side, his options are now more limited. The Chargers could still be in play, and another year with the Eagles may also be a reality.
  5. Logan Ryan: Unlike several of the players ahead of him on this list, Ryan doesn’t have any notable health concerns, but his asking price — he’s seeking around $10MM per year — could be depressing his market. He turned in a productive 2019 season with the Titans and has the versatility to move around the defensive backfield, which has apparently led to multi-year offers. Given the need for quality corners in today’s game, Ryan will likely land a lucrative deal soon, it just may not be as lucrative as he wants. The Jets and Dolphins are involved in the bidding.
  6. Markus Golden: Golden enjoyed what appeared to be a breakout season with the Cardinals in 2016, posting 12.5 sacks in just his second year in the league. But injuries limited the edge rusher over the 2017-18 seasons, and he had to settle for a one-year prove-it deal with the Giants in 2019. He perhaps thought that he proved it, recording 10 sacks for Big Blue, but those 10 sacks came from just 26 total pressures, which is probably an unsustainable conversion rate. So far, only the Giants — who put the rarely-used UFA tender on Golden — have been publicly connected to him.
  7. Devonta Freeman: We haven’t heard a peep about the two-time Pro Bowl running back since the Falcons released him in March. The fact that Atlanta replaced him with Todd Gurley and his frightening injury concerns isn’t a good sign, and Freeman’s 3.6 YPC average in 2019 certainly isn’t helping matters either. Freeman’s own injury problems limited him to two games in 2018, so he is now two years removed from his last effective season. It’s nonetheless a bit of a surprise that there have been no rumors of interest in his services.
  8. Delanie Walker: The best tight end left on the market, Walker has battled injuries over the past two seasons and will turn 36 in August, so it makes sense that we haven’t heard too much about him lately. But while he may not be a TE1 anymore, he could still be a useful weapon in the passing game, and he also has a history of being a strong blocker. The Colts, Packers, and Redskins were said to be interested in him in March, and those teams continue to look like good fits even after the draft. The Ravens, who rely heavily on TEs and who traded Hayden Hurst to the Falcons this offseason, also make some sense.
  9. Eric Reid: The 28-year-old safety turned in what appeared to be a strong year in 2019, starting all 16 games for the Panthers and posting a career-best 130 tackles. The problem is, he may have had so many tackle opportunities because he allowed over 77% of throws in his vicinity to be completed. Still, he is an experienced and generally solid back-end defender, and the Texans — who employ his brother, Justin Reid seem like a logical fit.
  10. Darqueze Dennard: Dennard, a former first-round pick of the Bengals, thought he had a deal with the Jaguars in March. But Jacksonville backed out of the deal, and while there was no word on why that happened, it could be that health concerns made the Jags skittish. Dennard missed the first few weeks of the 2019 season due to a knee procedure, but he did play every game from Week 10 forward and graded out well in terms of Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. He has been Cincinnati’s primary slot corner over the past several seasons, but there has been no reported interest in him since the failed Jaguars pact.

Giants Interested In Markus Golden

The Giants have thus far opted against adding a high-profile edge rusher. For several weeks, they have not been viewed as likely to re-sign Markus Golden. Joe Judge said the team’s top 2019 pass rusher remains on the radar.

The first-year Giants HC said the team is interested in Golden, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post, and engaged in discussions with him after the team placed the seldom-used UFA tender on him (Twitter link).

New York’s UFA tender will only tether Golden to the team if no one else signs him by July 22. Golden finished last season with a Giants-most 10 sacks, reviving his stock after an ACL tear tanked it during his Cardinals tenure. In 15 games from 2017-18, Golden recorded just 2.5 sacks. The former second-round pick, however, has two double-digit sack seasons now.

As of now, the Giants’ top edge rushers are former Packers backup Kyler Fackrell and recent third-round picks Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines. The Giants surprised most by avoiding high-profile edge defenders in free agency and not drafting one until Day 3. While Carter and Ximines combined for nine sacks last season, the Giants ranked 22nd in sacks last season (36) even with Golden on the team.

In early April, Golden’s asking price was too high for the Giants’ liking. The 29-year-old defender may or may not have reduced it. The chances Golden returns to New York appear to have increased.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Place UFA Tender On Markus Golden

The Giants are using a rarely-used tender in an attempt to retain pass rusher Markus Golden. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that New York has slapped the linebacker/defensive end with a UFA tender.

Thanks to this transaction, Golden will only be eligible to play for the Giants if he remains unsigned past July 22nd (or the first day of training camp, whichever is later). Of course, this means that the 29-year-old still has almost three months to negotiate a contract with a new team, and he will still count towards the 2021 compensatory pick formula.

The former second-rounder showed flashes during his four seasons in Arizona, including a 12.5-sack campaign back in 2016. He caught on with the Giants last offseason, inking a one-year, $3.75MM deal. He proceeded to have one of the best seasons of his career, as he compiled 72 tackles and 10 sacks in a career-high 16 starts.

We heard earlier this month that Golden was unlikely to return to the Giants, with sources indicating the pass rusher was seeking “too much money.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Rumors: Clowney, Golden, Draft, Tomlinson

Here’s the latest on the G-Men:

  • Lately, we’ve heard that the Giants aren’t looking to spend big on edge rushers. On Monday, GM Dave Gettleman more or less confirmed that he won’t pursue high-priced options like Jadeveon Clowney and Markus Golden are not in the plans. The Giants are “not in that position now,” Gettleman said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan). In a recent poll, just ~6% of PFR readers picked the Giants as Clowney’s next destination.
  • The GM also noted the presence of younger players in-house – guys like Evan Engram, Jabrill Peppers, Saquon Barkley, and Dalvin Tomlinson – who will need new deals soon. There’s only so much cap room to go around and the Giants will need to save those dollars to keep their best. “You can’t manufacture (pass rush), and you can’t overpay for it,” Gettleman said (via Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com). “So, what it really comes down to is it’s not about who gets the sacks, it’s about how many sacks we get. Really, how much pressure you apply. Some of this is going to have to come through scheme. Obviously we haven’t gone to the draft yet. I feel with where we’re at, would I want two guys to have a 25-sack year? Who doesn’t? But we’re not in that position right now so we’ll just keep building it.
  • Gettleman also told reporters that he likes the depth of this year’s tackle class (Twitter link via Raanan). Raanan took those comments to mean that the Giants are targeting tackles early in the draft, and Paul Schwartz of the New York Post got the same impression. For now, the Giants hold the No. 4 pick in the draft, though they’ve entertained the possibility of trading back.

Giants Unlikely To Re-Sign Markus Golden

There probably won’t be a reunion for the Giants and Markus Golden. The linebacker’s asking price has scared away the incumbent G-Men – and other pass rushing clubs – leaving him in no-man’s land in the latter stages of free agency, ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan hears. 

After notching ten sacks in 2019, Golden expected lavish offers in free agency. However, sounds like he’ll have to temper his expectations before finding a home.

[He’s asking for] too much money,” sources have told Raanan.

Golden showed that he’s back in full force with a performances reminiscent of his best days in Arizona, before the serious knee injury in 2017. He placed sixth in the league in quarterback hits (27) and placed in the top 15 with 13 tackles for a loss. A deeper look, however, reveals some warts – ranked just 73rd among edge rushers with 26 total pressures, an indication that his sack total may have been something of a fluke.

In the last few weeks, the Giants have signed outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell and it doesn’t sound like they’re looking to make any sort of edge rush splash beyond that. Jadeveon Clowney, who also overestimated his market, is not on the Giants’ radar either, according to Raanan. Instead, they’re likely to focus on cheaper options like Cameron Wake, Jabaal Sheard, and Vinny Curry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Giants’ Markus Golden

Free agent edge rusher Markus Golden has interest in re-signing with the Giants, but it sounds as though he wants to first reach free agency in order to test his market value, as Josina Anderson of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).

With the free agent period fewer than two weeks away, it probably doesn’t make much sense for Golden — or any other pending free agent — to ink an extension without at least exploring the potential market. Last offseason, Golden garnered interest from multiple teams before landing a one-year, $3.75MM deal with New York.

In his first season with the Giants, Golden experienced something of a resurgence by starting all 16 games and posting 10 sacks. However, that sack total is a bit of a mirage, as Golden ranked just 73rd among edge rushers with 26 total pressures, per Pro Football Focus. Converting that limited number of pressures into double-digit sacks is likely an unrepeatable task.

Golden, who turns 29 next week, spent the first four years of his career with the Cardinals after being selected in the second round of the 2015 draft. He put up 12.5 sacks in 2016, but after a torn ACL ended his 2017 campaign, Golden wasn’t able to regain his pass-rushing ways until joining the Giants.

NFC East Notes: Dak, Howard, Giants

Dak Prescott bet on himself and will finish with statistical benchmarks in several categories this season — including touchdown passes (26) and passing yards (4,599). The fourth-year Cowboys quarterback has a good chance of eclipsing his previous single-season passing high by over 1,000 yards. Despite Dallas’ disappointing season, team brass remain bullish on a long-term Dak re-up. Prescott and the Cowboys have been negotiating for months.

I’m just not surprised,” Prescott said, via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams, of the lack of a new contract. “… It’s the business. It’s my first time going through it. Not surprised by anything that comes from it — from the league, from the team, from whatever. Learning as I go.”

With March 10 being the deadline for franchise tenders to be applied, the Cowboys not reaching an extension with their quarterback opens the door to the prospect of tagging Prescott and letting Amari Cooper hit free agency. As of now, with no CBA in place, teams would be permitted to use both their franchise and transition tags come March. Just as they were throughout this past summer, the Cowboys’ negotiations will be a key component of the upcoming offseason.

One of two divisions still up for grabs, the NFC East features the Eagles and Cowboys vying for the division’s 50th championship. Here is the latest from the two contending teams, along with the Giants and Redskins.

  • With the Eagles cutting Jay Ajayi, the expectation was they’d have Jordan Howard back in the fold for Week 17. But that’s not necessarily the case. The fourth-year back met with doctors on Thursday, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com, who adds Howard has not yet been cleared for contact (Twitter link). Howard has not played since Week 9 due to a shoulder injury. The Eagles are using Miles Sanders and Boston Scott as their primary backs, but Howard was the team’s rushing leader before going down.
  • The Redskins have already seen several starters’ seasons end early; they may see their breakout wide receiver miss the season finale as well. Terry McLaurin is in Washington’s concussion protocol, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. McLaurin (919 receiving yards) is just seven yards away from Gary Clark‘s 34-year-old franchise record for most by a rookie. A loss to Dallas would lock Washington in the No. 2 draft slot, which could well be Ohio State edge-rushing dynamo Chase Young.
  • Markus Golden‘s value-reestablishing Giants season included another positive development for the contract-year pass rusher. A stat correction turned a Golden half-sack into a full sack, giving him 10 for the season and a $1MM incentive bonus, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. The Giants gave Golden a one-year, $3.75MM deal this offseason. After two lost seasons, due largely to a 2017 ACL tear, Golden has his second 10-plus-sack campaign. He profiles as a Giants extension candidate and an intriguing UFA pass rusher, should he hit the market.

Contract Details: Williams, Webb, Verrett

Here are the latest particulars in recently agreed-upon contracts, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (unless otherwise noted).

Contract Details: Funchess, LaCosse, Golden

Some assorted contract notes from around the NFL:

  • Devin Funchess, WR (Colts): One year, $10MM. $7MM guaranteed via roster bonus. $3MM base salary. $3MM in incentives for receptions, receiving yards, TDs, Pro Bowl, All-Pro. Twitter link via Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star.
  • Tyrann Mathieu, S (Chiefs): Three years, $42MM. $26.8MM guaranteed, $14.8MM signing bonus. Base salaries: $850K (2019), $1.15MM (2020), $14.5MM (2021, nonguaranteed). Details via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • K.J. Wright, LB (Seahawks): Two years, up to $15MM (original story). $8MM in 2019, including $5MM signing bonus, $1.5MM base salary, $1.5MM roster bonus. Second year isn’t guaranteed. Twitter link via ESPN’s Brady Henderson.
  • Matt LaCosse, TE (Patriots): Two years, $2MM, $500K guaranteed for 2019 (original story). Base salaries: $700K (2019), $1MM (2020). $300K signing bonus, $25K per-game bonus. $500K in playing time/receptions incentives. Twitter link via Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate.
  • Markus Golden, LB (Giants): One year. Worth up to $4.75MM, $2.225MM guaranteed. Twitter link via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
  • Cameron Fleming, OT (Cowboys): Two years, $8.5MM. 2019: $1MM base salary, $1.5MM signing bonus, $2.25MM cap number. $300K for 60-percent playing time, $600K for 70-percent. Twitter link via ESPN’s Todd Archer.
  • Bruce Ellington, WR (Patriots): One year, $25K guaranteed. Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.