The Giants are employing a little-used provision in the NFL’s free agency rules to give themselves a better chance of keeping defensive end Markus Golden — or getting a compensatory pick for him if he goes elsewhere.
The Giants placed the unrestricted free agent tender on Golden. That means if Golden doesn’t sign with another team by July 22, he can only play for the Giants this season. It also means that if Golden signs with another team by July 22, he will count toward the 2021 compensatory pick formula, meaning the Giants might still get a compensatory pick for him even though the deadline passed today.
The UFA tender is rarely used, but it’s not unheard of. The Patriots put the UFA tender on LeGarrette Blount in 2017. When Blount ended up signing with the Eagles, that helped the Patriots get a fourth-round compensatory pick in 2018.
If Golden signs the UFA tender, he’ll play for the Giants this year for a 10 percent pay raise over his 2019 pay excluding performance bonuses, which was $3.75 million.
Golden is one of the Top 10 available free agents in the NFL right now.