One of the more interesting offseason situations may have just come to an end, as ESPN's Jordan Raanan reported on Saturday that New York Giants outside linebacker Markus Golden had reported to camp and begun COVID-19 testing. This came after the Giants placed the rare "May 5 tender" on him earlier this offseason. This move meant that if he remained unsigned past July 22, he could only play the 2020 season for the Giants, as they maintain the pass-rusher's exclusive rights.
Golden was still allowed to negotiate with other teams to sign a deal, but if he did sign with a new franchise, he would count towards the 2021 compensatory pick formula. Golden will receive a one-year deal that includes a 10 percent raise, and he has until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season to re-sign with the Giants. By employing this strategy, it implies first-year head coach Joe Judge would like to keep him on roster.
"Obviously, we think he's a talented player," Judge said earlier this offseason. "He's been a great locker room guy. I have a lot of respect for him from afar -- I haven't worked with him in person yet."
The most recent use of the May 5 tender was by New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick back in 2018. He decided to place it on running back LeGarrette Blount -- who ended up signing a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles not long after.
In his first season in New York, Golden was possibly the best defensive player the Giants had. In 2019, he recorded a career-high 72 combined tackles and 10 sacks.
Golden was originally a second-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals back in 2015. According to the rules the NFL and NFLPA agreed to, Golden will now have to pass three COVID-19 tests in four days and then pass a physical to finalize his contract.