By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The deadline has passed for Markus Golden to sign with another team and now he is exclusively the property of the New York Giants and can only sign with them. So when should we expect Golden and the Giants to reunite? Apparently, both sides don’t seem to be in any rush; especially on Golden side as he could wait until week 10 of the regular season if he chooses too.
Personally; I don’t foresee that to be the case as I believe Golden has something to prove and any delay or limited amount of playing opportunity would hinder his chances of getting a multi-year deal he has been seeking.
As for the Giants, having a motivated Golden back in the lineup is a major plus and with that in mind, it made me wonder once Golden returns; are the Giants still considering 2020 a rebuilding year; especially at the outside linebacker position?
Keep in mind the return of Golden could impact playing time for players such as Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines. This off season, the Giants signed veteran Kyler Fackrell to a one year deal based on his relationship and 2018 performance (10.5 sacks) under Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham in Green Bay.
So if Fackrell performs well in training camp along with Golden; then how much playing time will Carter and Ximines get? If they are affected and see limited snaps, then are the Giants rebuilding or just having a one year plan for 2020? There’s no question Golden will start and if Fackrell performs anywhere near his 2018 production, then Golden and Fackrell would be penciled in as starters.
However; Golden and Fackrell would only be on one-year deals, as I don’t expect the Giants to give Golden a multi-year contract or Fackrell. So are the Giants hindering the growth and the potential of both Carter and Ximines?
Final Thoughts: So with Golden on board, the outside linebacker position should bear watching and it will be interesting to see how DC Patrick Graham can keep his top four outside linebackers productive and more importantly happy. For me, I would like to see some sort of a rotational system where all four are sharing the snaps and contributing as a unit.
However; if Golden and/or Fackrell have a repeat performance like they did in 2019 and 2018 respectfully, then would it make sense to take snaps away from them? Perhaps this is a good problem to have, but either way you look at it, it’s a problem that could come back and bit the Giants in the backside if they don’t handle it correctly.
I understand you play to win and if all four players to the best of their ability, the Giants are a better team with Golden and Fackrell on the outside. However; what about 2021 and beyond? If the Giants don’t extend contracts to either Golden or Fackrell, are they still convinced that Carter and/or Ximines are the future OLB for the Giants? Will Carter and Ximines get enough playing time to improve and possibly get to the next level? Most importantly; can they prove to the Giants coaches and ownership that they are part of the future?