With the start of free agency not too far away, Giants pending free-agent edge rusher Markus Golden is indeed very much interested in re-signing with the Giants, a source said, confirming the initial reports by ESPN’s Josina Anderson and SNY.TV’s Ralph Vacchiano.
Golden, who turns 29 on March 13, is coming off a productive season for the Giants. He led the team with 10 sacks, becoming the first Giants defender to record double-digit sacks in a season since defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul recorded 12.5 in 2014 and the first linebacker on the team to accomplish the feat since Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor racked up 10.5 sacks in 1990.
The Giants are intent on upgrading their pass rush this off-season, a need that they will likely address in both free agency and the draft.
The team is thought to believe that Golden, who also was solid against the run last year for the Giants, can be part of that solution moving forward. They are also likely hoping that new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham can fully unlock the pass-rushing potential of edge rushers Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines.
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Vacchiano also reported that there is mutual interest between the Giants and 28-year-old linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who, after three seasons with the Lions, spent the last four with the Patriots, the team that new Giants head coach Joe Judge served as the special teams coordinator.
Van Noy registered a career-high 6.5 sacks last season for the Patriots, and 56 total tackles in 15 games. He also recorded three passes defensed and three forced fumbles, both career-highs as well.
The Giants, per Vacchiano, have also been linked to Jacksonville’s Yannick Ngakoue and Seattle’s Jadeveon Clowney. Ngakoue, according to multiple reports, could be getting the franchise tag by the deadline, which would set up a “tag and trade” scenario with a team that wants him.
Clowney, whom the Seahawks acquired in a trade last year, recorded just three sacks. According to Spotrac, Clowney has an estimated market value of $20 million per year based on a six-year, $120.34 million contract that would put him in the same pay bracket as DeMarcus Lawrence of the Cowboys and defensive end Frank Clark of the Chiefs.