Chicago Bears should be buyers of Markus Golden

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears should absolutely have an interest in New York Giants’ free-agent Markus Golden.

With free-agency (legal tampering period) set to kick off in just three days, one player who needs to be on the Chicago Bears’ radar is edge rusher Markus Golden. The former second-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Missouri has had a bit of an up-and-down career but could be primed for a breakout after last season.

Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, Golden didn’t do much his rookie year but recorded 12.5 sacks in his second year under defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who was with the Cardinals from 2015-2017. For Golden, 2017 was a bit of a wasted year, as he only played in four games. The following year, while appearing in 11 games, he still managed only 2.5 sacks. However, Bettcher was not with the team at that tie, having taken the defensive coordinator position with the New York Giants.

Why is that important? Well, because Golden reunited with Bettcher in New York this past season where he recorded another 10 sacks in 16 games. In other words, Bettcher has figured out how to unlock the talent and potential that made Golden a second-round pick in 2015. If Chuck Pagano and the defensive staff can utilize Golden in the same way Bettcher has, he could flourish on the edge opposite Khalil Mack, and alongside Akiem Hicks.

Quarterback pressure out of the edge position opposite Mack would be a welcomed addition to the team, who has struggled to get former top-ten pick Leonard Floyd to live up to his draft-day expectations. While the familiar refrain from Floyd supporters is his ability to drop in coverage and “do the little things” that is not why you draft an edge rusher that high. Moreover, it’s not why you pay him $13.2 million for 2020, which is what the Bears will do if they don’t rescind his fifth-year option.

There has been some scuttlebutt that the Bears are considering rescinding the option, which would save them money, but creat an obvious hole on the roster. Will they do that? The answer is, ‘only if they feel they can replace his production for less money.’

While Golden has a projected market value of $13.5 million according to Spotrac, any team negotiating with him will have to take into account his inconsistency. In that regard, perhaps the Bears could get that number down a bit to say $9 million per year. That would save the Bears $4.2 million and potentially give them more production from a pass-rush perspective.

Compensatory pick gives Bears more options. dark. Next

The Bears could also try to sign a new deal with Floyd, lowering his AAV, but if not, it will be hard to justify the $13.2 million price tag. If they choose to rescind, Golden needs to get serious consideration as a replacement.