Giants place UFA tender on Marcus Golden in unusual move
Perhaps Markus Golden will return to the Giants, after all.
In an unusual move, the Giants are using the seldom-seen unrestricted free agent tender — or “May 5 tender’’ — on Golden, the outside linebacker who led them in sacks last season. Golden remains on the open market but if he is still unsigned past July 22, he can only play for the Giants in 2020.
The tender is a one-year contract worth 110 percent of his 2019 salary, which would come out to $4.12 million in 2020 after he made $3.75 million last season. Golden earned an additional $1 million for getting 10 sacks but that performance bonus does not count in the tender formula.
So, the Giants are hoping to get Golden, 29, back on a team-friendly contract. The price tag is now set for Golden. If he can get more than $4.12 million from another team, he signs elsewhere. If his market is not bullish at all, he reverts back to the Giants.
This tender could dissuade teams from signing Golden, as it would count against that team in the complicated compensatory-pick formula for the 2021 NFL Draft.
This seldom-used tender could be something new head coach Joe Judge brought with him from the Patriots. Back in 2017, the Patriots used the unrestricted freea gent tender on running back LeGarrette Blount, but he signed with the Eagles. The tender, though, helped the Patriots get a fourth-round compensatory pick in 2018 for losing Blount.
Golden in 2019 made a successful return from a knee injury that waylaid his career after he put up 12.5 sacks for the Cardinals in 2016. In his first year with the Giants, he started every game and led the team in sacks with 10.
The Giants, with a new coaching staff in place, have not shown much interest in re-signing Golden. They did not select any players with much pass-rush success on their rèsumès, other than Minnesota linebacker Carter Coughlin in the seventh round. This latest maneuver is an indication the Giants would welcome Golden back, at their price.
General manager Dave Gettleman, asked Saturday after the draft was complete if he would circle back to Golden, said, “We feel good about where we’re at, but we’ll continue to try to improve it.’’
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