Arizona Cardinals sign Markus Golden to a two-year contract
Six years ago, the Arizona Cardinals used a second-round draft selection on edge-rusher Markus Golden. Following an inconsistent four-years with the team, the 6’3, 260 pounder signed a free-agent deal with the New York Giants in 2019. Golden was reacquired by the Cardinals last season, and the 30-year old’s second stint with the team has now been extended.
On Monday, the first day of free agency’s legal-tampering period, Golden agreed to a brand-new contract with the Cards. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the deal will pay the former University of Missouri product up to $9 million over the next two campaigns. Last October, Arizona sent the Giants a sixth-round pick in next month’s draft to bring Golden back to the desert.
Golden’s agreement with the Cardinals will reunite him with fellow pass-rusher Chandler Jones. Back in 2016, the pair recorded 23.5 sacks for Big Red’s defensive unit. Now, five years later, Golden and Jones will likely start opposite each other at the squad’s two outside linebacker spots.
Keeping Golden will likely signal the end of Haason Reddick’s career with the Cards. The former 13th-overall choice is an unrestricted free agent after the front office declined the fifth-year option on his rookie contract last offseason.
In nine appearances (eight starts) for Arizona last fall, Golden totaled 23 tackles, three sacks, 14 quarterback hits and two pass breakups. The year before, as a member of the Giants, the St. Louis native racked up 72 tackles and 10 sacks during his 16 starts.
The best performance turned in by Golden for the Cardinals was back in ’16. The high-motor defender registered 12.5 sacks, 51 tackles, 22 quarterback hits and four forced fumbles in 16 games (three starts) that season for Arizona.
Back in 2017, Golden suffered a torn ACL during a week-four victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The sack specialist was placed on the injured-reserve list, and would be sidelined for the final 12 matchups.
“I’m an Arizona Cardinal at heart,” said Golden shortly after the trade that brought him back to the Redbirds. “I’m blessed and so motivated, but at the end of the day, I’m blessed to be back with the Arizona Cardinals.”