According to ESPN’s Field Yates the New York Giants extended the “UFA Tender” to Markus Golden today. I touched on this tender yesterday but for those unfamiliar basically it is an offer that can be extended to a veteran free agent who has yet to sign a new contract by the end of the compensatory free agent period, which ended today at 4PM. Once this offer is made the team maintains some control over their free agent and maintains the right to a compensatory draft selection if the player signed a contract between now and July 22.
As mentioned yesterday this date is mainly a formality and to the best of my recollection was last used in 2017 for LeGarrette Blount when he was a Patriot. The reason it is rarely used is because the cost is potentially high. The tender amount is equal to 110% of his prior year salary. For Golden he earned last year $3.725M so the tender for him is well under what he was expected to earn as a free agent making it a reasonable cost. Golden’s tender should equal $4.098 million plus a $25,000 workout bonus and $1 million in incentives. That is likely a reason why the Giants chose to do this while teams like the Seahawks passed on extending a tender to Jadeveon Clowney.
The Giants, because they signed so many free agents this offseason, don’t stand to gain any compensatory draft selections even if Golden signs with another team so it is doubtful that they care about the compensatory aspect of this unless they simply do not want a rival to get away with signing a player and not having it impact their compensatory selections for the year. For example lets say they had word that a team like the Cowboys was going to sign Golden but were waiting to execute it to protect their four projected 2021 comp picks. This doesn’t allow the Cowboys to do that kind of move so I guess it could be gamesmanship on the Giants part but more likely they just want to hold his rights.
If Golden goes unsigned through the early summer the UFA tender blocks him from negotiating with other teams after July 22. Once that date hits the Giants are the only team he can sign with unless they withdraw the tender. So they get exclusive rights on Golden if he remains a free agent through the summer. Considering they have holes at pass rusher Im sure they are perfectly fine with having him back this year on essentially the same contract he was on last year and this gives them the easiest chance to get him to come back down the line for a contract around this price.
However between now and July 22 nothing changes for anyone. Golden is still a free agent. He can sign with anyone and the Giants don’t get an option to match an offer. I don’t believe he would count on the Giants salary cap until July 15 so there should be no cap impact. The only thing that I think he will count on is the Giants 90 man roster but Im not 100% sure on that. The only change is if there was a team hoping to sign him on Tuesday and not lose a comp pick they cant don’t that anymore.
Personally I’ve been surprised that Golden has been unable to find a home. He took a one year prove it deal, played well enough, and plays a position that usually gets interest. While some may look at the stats as blown up a bit normally rushers like Golden would earn at least $7 million a year and in most cases more. We’ll see if he can land a deal in the coming weeks or if he now sits down again with the Giants to work out a contract.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.