Markus Golden, Arizona Cardinals agree to 2-year contract

Mar 15, 2021, 9:26 AM | Updated: 11:33 am
Markus Golden celebrates his strip-sack fumble return on Dec. 13, 2020, against the New York Giants...
Markus Golden celebrates his strip-sack fumble return on Dec. 13, 2020, against the New York Giants. (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

The Arizona Cardinals did not tender free agent outside linebacker Haason Reddick, but they’ve given themselves a edge-rushing threat opposite a presumably healthy Chandler Jones.

And they did so before the free agency period gets into full gear this Wednesday.

Markus Golden will be back after agreeing to a two-year deal, the team announced Monday.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports the deal will pay Golden $9 million.

Golden provided three sacks with 5.5 tackles for loss in nine games after Arizona traded a sixth-round pick to acquire him from the New York Giants.

In his nine-game run with the Cardinals, Golden actually got pressure on pass rushes at a higher rate (16.5%) than Reddick (13.6%), according to Pro Football Focus.

Arizona drafted Golden in the second round of the 2015 draft, and he produced 12.5 sacks his second season. Golden played 2019 and seven games of the 2020 season with the Giants before he returned to the Cardinals.

The 30-year-old, whose birthday was Saturday, slots in alongside Jones and Devon Kennard at outside linebacker.

The move could hint that Reddick will not return to Arizona, assuming that the market pays him handsomely for his 12.5-sack season in 2020.

The Cardinals also have a decision to make regarding their second-leading sack man in 2020, Dennis Gardeck. The special teams captain is coming off a breakout seven-sack season.

Gardeck is a restricted free agent and is coming off ACL surgery.

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