The New York Giants defense has been disappointing this season. The lone bright spot is edge rusher Markus Golden. Big Blue must lock up their biggest defensive weapon.
It was seen as somewhat of an afterthought. The New York Giants added to their collection of former Arizona Cardinals defensive players when they signed edge rusher Markus Golden in May. He wasn’t fairing well in the free-agent market, so he signed a one-year, $3.75M “prove it” contract with the G-Men.
Signing with the Giants also brought about a reunion with defensive coordinator James Betcher. Golden was familiar with Betcher’s complex blitzing scheme which made him an ideal addition to Big Blue. So far the partnership has worked well.
Golden has been the New York Giants best player on the defensive front seven this year. The edge rusher has done an outstanding job of causing havoc. Through 10 games, Golden has 6.5 sacks, his highest total since 2016, and 15 quarterback hits. He also scooped up a Tom Brady fumble and took it to the house against the Patriots.
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The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia lists Golden as the number 46 ranked 2020 pending free agent. That could be a bit low. Considering how poorly the Giants defense has played overall, Golden’s performance stands out. Imagine what his numbers would be if other players were able to get pressure on the quarterback. Instead Golden is the player Giants opponents double-team.
There are some top tier pass rushers who as of now are headed to free agency. Jadeveon Clowney, Dante Fowler, Yannick Ngakoue, Shaquil Barrett, and even former Giants star Jason Pierre-Paul, among others, will be on the market. Even so, Golden’s performance has earned him a substantial raise.
So far there is no successor to Golden on the Big Blue pass rush. Leonard Williams (also a pending free agent) hasn’t shown much over his career and rookie Oshane Ximines doesn’t look like he’s ready to be a premier edge player just yet. Now is the time to get an extension done. It will cost the New York Giants plenty to replace Golden’s production should he sign elsewhere.
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