Markus Golden

American football player (born 1991)

American football player
  • Hutchinson (2011)
  • Missouri (2012–2014)
Position:LinebackerNFL draft:2015 / Round: 2 / Pick: 58Career history
  • Arizona Cardinals (2015–2018)
  • New York Giants (2019–2020)
  • Arizona Cardinals (2020–2022)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2023)
Career highlights and awards
  • Second-team All-SEC (2014)
  • Citrus Bowl MVP (2015)
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:343
Sacks:51.0
Forced fumbles:11
Fumble recoveries:5
Pass deflections:8
Interceptions:1
Defensive TDs:1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Markus Golden (born March 13, 1991) is an American football linebacker who is a free agent. He played college football at Missouri and was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Golden has also played for the New York Giants.

Early years

Golden was a record-setting running back and linebacker at Affton High School. His junior season saw him record a school-record 168 tackles and 16 sacks, while he also ran for 1,139 yards and 16 touchdowns. As a senior, he ran for a record 2,264 yards and 30 touchdowns while also making 108 tackles and 10 sacks.

College career

Hutchinson Community College

As a freshman at Hutchinson, Golden made 90 tackles, including 26 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, to go with five forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions. Hutchinson lost to Butler Community College in the regular season and the KJCCC championship. The 2011 Butler team was led by Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.

University of Missouri

Despite joining Missouri's team late due to clearinghouse issues, Golden was still able to provide a nice impact, playing in all 12 games (primarily on special teams) and made 10 tackles while forcing one fumble in all. He was also a major performer on various special teams units.

As a junior in 2013, Golden played about 40% of the snaps behind Kony Ealy and Michael Sam and led MU ends with 55 tackles on the year, and added 13 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks with 8 passes broken up.[1]

Golden entered his senior season as one of the premier pass rushers in the nation. He lived up to the hype, recording 21 tackles and 4 sacks in the first three games before a hamstring injury slowed him down and also kept him out of the game vs. Indiana. Despite this, he still finished the season with 78 tackles and 10 sacks on the season. He and teammate Shane Ray became the first Missouri teammates to both record double digit sacks in the same season.

Professional career

Pre-draft

On December 24, 2014, it was announced that Golden had accepted his invitation to play in the 2015 Senior Bowl.[2] Throughout Senior Bowl practices, he impressed scouts and team representatives with his ability to get to the quarterback.[3] On January 24, 2015, Golden played in the Reese's Senior Bowl and made one tackle for a four-yard loss as he played for Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley's South team that lost 34–13 to the North. He was one of 54 defensive linemen to attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Golden ran the 40-yard dash, 20-yard dash, and 10-yard dash before suffering a hamstring injury that kept him from completing the rest of the combine drills. A previous hand injury also made him unable to do the bench press and he finished 19th among his position group in the 40-yard dash.[4] On March 19, 2015, Golden opted to attend Missouri's pro day, along with Shane Ray, Marcus Murphy, Bud Sasser, Mitch Morse, and nine other prospects. He performed all of the combine drills and bested his times in the 40-yard dash (4.77s), 20-yard dash (2.77s), and 10-yard dash (1.71s) from the combine. Team representatives and scouts from 30 NFL teams attended, including Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and assistant coaches from Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots.[5] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Golden was projected by NFL draft experts and scouts to be a third to fifth round pick. He was ranked the ninth best defensive end prospect by NFL analyst Charles Davis, was ranked the 12th best defensive end by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and was ranked the 14th best outside linebacker in the draft by DraftScout.com.[6][7][8]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2+38 in
(1.89 m)
260 lb
(118 kg)
31+18 in
(0.79 m)
10+12 in
(0.27 m)
4.90 s 1.68 s 2.81 s 4.59 s 7.39 s 28+12 in
(0.72 m)
9 ft 2 in
(2.79 m)
17 reps
All values from NFL Combine[9]

Arizona Cardinals (first stint)

2015

The Arizona Cardinals selected Golden in the second round (58th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft.[10] The Cardinals originally owned the No. 55 overall pick and had long-planned to draft Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, but he was selected by the Detroit Lions the pick prior (54th overall). They decided to trade their second round pick (55th overall) to the Ravens in exchange for the Ravens' second round pick (58th overall) and a fifth round pick (158th overall). The Ravens selected Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams and the Cardinals opted to select David Johnson in the third round (86th overall).[11][12] He was the sixth outside linebacker and the first of two outside linebackers selected by the Cardinals, before Shaquille Riddick (158th overall).

On May 14, 2015, the Cardinals signed Golden to a four-year, $3.91 million contract that includes $1.72 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $1.10 million.[13]

Throughout training camp, Golden competed against Alex Okafor, Lorenzo Alexander, LaMarr Woodley, Shaquille Riddick, and Alani Fua for a job as the starting outside linebacker.[14] Head coach Bruce Arians named Golden the backup strongside linebacker behind LaMarr Woodley to begin the regular season.[15]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Cardinals' season-opener against the New Orleans Saints and recorded three combined tackles during their 31–19 victory. He made his first career tackle on Khiry Robinson after he ran for a three-yard gain in the third quarter.[16] The following week, he had one assisted tackle and had his first career sack during a 48–23 victory at the Chicago Bears. He made his first career sack with Kareem Martin as they both brought down Chicago Bears' quarterback Jimmy Clausen for a ten-yard loss in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.[17] On October 18, 2015, Golden made his first career start and recorded a season-high six combined tackles during a 25–13 loss at the Steelers. He started the next three games after starting weakside linebacker Alex Okafor suffered a calf injury and was ruled inactive.[18] In Week 11, Golden collected three solo tackles and made his first career solo sack on Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in their 34–31 victory. Golden missed the Cardinals' Week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks after suffering a knee injury.[19] He finished his rookie season with 31 combined tackles (21 solo) and four sacks in 15 games and six starts.[20]

The Cardinals finished the 2015 season atop the National Football Conference (NFC) West with a 13–3 record and received a playoff berth. On January 16, 2016, Golden received started his first career playoff game after Alex Okafor suffered a toe injury that managed to sideline him for the entire playoffs. He made three combined tackles during their 26–20 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional round. The following game, he made seven combined tackles as the Cardinals were routed 49–15 in the NFC Championship to the Carolina Panthers. He finished his rookie season with 31 combined tackles (21 solo), four sacks, and two forced fumbles in 15 games and six starts.[21]

2016

Golden entered training camp competing with Alex Okafor for the role as the starting outside linebacker.[22] He was named the starting weakside linebacker to begin the regular season, opposite newly acquired teammate Chandler Jones.[23]

He started the Cardinals' season-opener against the Patriots and made two solo tackles and sacked Jimmy Garoppolo in their 23–21 loss.[24] In Week 3, he made his first official start of the season and collected six combined tackles and 1 sack on Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor during a 33–18 loss.[25] On October 6, 2016, Golden recorded a career-high ten combined tackles (seven solo) and made two sacks on Blaine Gabbert as the Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 33–21.[26] It marked Golden's first career multi-sack game. In week 16 against the Seattle Seahawks, he sacked Russell Wilson twice in the 34–31 victory. On January 1, 2017, he made four combined tackles, deflected a pass, and a season-high 2.5 sacks on Jared Goff, as the Cardinals routed the Los Angeles Rams 44–6. Golden finished the season with 51 combined tackles, 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and a pass deflection in 16 games and three starts.[27]

He led the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks and finished third in the entire league. Golden and Chandler Jones became the first Arizona Cardinals duo to both finish with a double-digit sack total since 1984. Chandler Jones had 11 sacks and they combined for 22.5 total sacks.[28] The Cardinals did not receive a playoff berth after finishing with a 7–8–1 record and ended their season second in the NFC West in 2016.

2017

Golden entered 2017 slated as the starting weakside linebacker after having a stellar season in 2016. On September 17, 2017, Golden recorded a season-high four combined tackles in a 16–13 victory at the Indianapolis Colts. On October 1, 2017, Golden collected three solo tackles before leaving the game due to injury as the Cardinals defeated the 49ers 18–15. The following day, it was discovered Golden had suffered a torn ACL and was ruled out for the season.[29] He finished the season with 11 solo tackles in four games and four starts. The Cardinals finished third in the NFC West with an 8–8 record.[30]

2018

In 2018, Golden started 11 games, recording 30 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

New York Giants

On March 14, 2019, Golden signed a one-year deal worth $3,750,000 contract with the New York Giants.[31] In week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Golden recorded 2 sacks on Jameis Winston in the 32-31 win.[32] In week 6 against the Patriots, Golden recovered a fumble forced by teammate Lorenzo Carter on Tom Brady and returned the ball for a 42 yard touchdown in the 35–14 loss.[33] He finished the year with 10.0 sacks, the most by any Giants linebacker since Lawrence Taylor in 1990.

On April 27, 2020, the Giants placed the unrestricted free agent tender on Golden, meaning if he remained unsigned by July 22, he could only sign with the Giants for the 2020 season. If he signed with another team, the Giants would have received a compensatory draft pick.[34] On July 22, 2020, Golden's exclusive signing rights reverted to the Giants.[35] He signed the one-year tender on August 4, 2020.[36] In Week 7 against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football on October 22, 2020, Golden recorded his first sack of the season on Carson Wentz during the 22–21 loss.[37]

Arizona Cardinals (second stint)

On October 23, 2020, Golden returned to the Cardinals after he was traded by the Giants for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.[38]

Golden made his debut with the Cardinals in Week 9 against the Miami Dolphins. During the game, Golden recorded a sack on Tua Tagovailoa during the 34–31 loss.[39] In Week 12 against the Patriots, Golden recorded his first career interception off a pass thrown by Cam Newton during the 20–17 loss.[40] In Week 14 against his former team, the Giants, Golden recorded a strip sack on Daniel Jones that he also recovered during the 26–7 victory.[41]

On March 15, 2021, Golden signed a two-year extension with the Cardinals.[42] He entered the season as a starting pass rusher alongside Chandler Jones. He played in 16 games with five starts, recording 48 tackles, four forced fumbles, and led the team with 11.0 sacks.

On September 9, 2022, Golden signed a one-year contract extension with the Cardinals. He was released on March 10, 2023.[43]

Pittsburgh Steelers

On May 24, 2023, Golden signed with the Steelers.[44]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck TFL Int Yds TD Lng PD FF FR Yds TD
2015 ARI 15 6 30 20 10 4.0 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
2016 ARI 16 3 51 41 10 12.5 16 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 0
2017 ARI 4 4 11 11 0 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018 ARI 11 11 30 25 5 2.5 5 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
2019 NYG 16 16 72 37 35 10.0 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 42 1
2020 NYG 7 1 10 4 6 1.5 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
ARI 9 8 23 13 10 3.0 4 1 1 0 1 2 1 1 30 0
2021 ARI 16 5 48 33 15 11.0 10 0 0 0 0 1 4 2 0 0
2022 ARI 17 14 48 22 26 2.5 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023 PIT 16 0 20 14 6 4.0 6 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
127 68 343 220 123 51.0 68 1 1 0 1 8 11 5 72 1

Playoffs

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck TFL Int Yds TD Lng PD FF FR Yds TD
2015 ARI 2 2 10 4 6 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021 ARI 1 0 3 2 1 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023 PIT 1 1 3 2 1 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 3 16 8 8 2.0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

References

  1. ^ Goodbread, Chase (May 27, 2014). "Missouri DE Markus Golden aims to be next top Tigers DL". nfl.com. NFL Enterprises. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  2. ^ "Missouri's Markus Golden Accepts Senior Bowl Invitation". insidestl.com. December 24, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "Mizzou's Markus Golden making strong impression at Senior Bowl". FoxSports.com. January 23, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  4. ^ James Brady (February 22, 2015). "NFL Combine 2015: Full results for defensive linemen". SBNation.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Gil Brandt (March 20, 2015). "Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin on hand for Missouri's pro day". nfl.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  6. ^ Charles Davis (April 1, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft prospect rankings by position". nfl.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Mike Mayock (April 27, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock's top 100 prospects". Nfl.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "Markus Golden, DS #14 OLB, Missouri". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  9. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Markus Golden". Nfl.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "2015 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  11. ^ Lent Somers (September 8, 2017). "Cardinals' 2015 draft landed David Johnson, Markus Golden: From agony to ecstasy". azcentral.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  12. ^ Aaron Wilson (May 1, 2015). "Maxx Williams gives Ravens long-term plan at tight end". BaltimoreSun.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  13. ^ "Spotrac.com: Markus Golden contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  14. ^ "Ourlads.com: Arizona Cardinals depth chart: 07/01/2015". Ourlads.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Jess Root (September 8, 2015). "Arizona Cardinals depth chart: Earl Watford to start at RT, Ifeanyi Momah a starter". Revengeofthebirds.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 1-2015: New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals". NFL.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  17. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 2-2015: Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears". nfl.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "Linebacker Alex Okafor set to return to Cardinals". USAtoday.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  19. ^ Jess Root (December 30, 2015). "Arizona Cardinals injuries: Markus Golden suffers knee injury, could miss regular season finale". revengeofthebirds.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  20. ^ "NFL Player stats: Markus Golden (2015)". NFL.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  21. ^ "NFL Player stats: Markus Golden (2014)". NFL.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  22. ^ Jess Root (July 28, 2016). "Cardinals training camp battles: Markus Golden vs. Alex Okafor". CardsWire.USAToday.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  23. ^ Alex Mann (September 5, 2016). "Arizona Cardinals release first Depth Chart of 2016". RevengeoftheBirds.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  24. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 1-2016: New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals". NFL.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  25. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills 2016 REG 3". NFL.com. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  26. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 5-2016: Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers". NFL.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  27. ^ "NFL Player stats: Markus Golden (2016)". NFL.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  28. ^ Weinfuss, Josh (January 2, 2017). "Markus Golden, Chandler Jones Cardinals' first double-digit sack duo in 32 years". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  29. ^ Urban, Darren (October 2, 2017). "Markus Golden Out For The Season". AZCardinals.com. Archived from the original on April 8, 2018.
  30. ^ "Why Bruce Arians is retiring as Arizona Cardinals head coach". sbnation.com. January 1, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  31. ^ Williams, Charean (March 14, 2019). "Giants agree to terms with Markus Golden". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  32. ^ "Jones sparkles in his start, Giants rally past Bucs 32-31". www.espn.com. September 22, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  33. ^ "Patriots force 4 turnovers, beat Giants 35-14 to reach 6-0". www.espn.com. October 10, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  34. ^ Smith, Michael David (April 27, 2020). "Giants use UFA tender on Markus Golden". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  35. ^ Williams, Charean (July 22, 2020). "Deadline passes for Markus Golden to sign with team other than Giants". NBCSports.com. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  36. ^ Eisen, Michael (August 4, 2020). "Markus Golden re-signs with Giants; led team in sacks in 2019". Giants.com. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  37. ^ "New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles - October 22nd, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  38. ^ Scott, Jelani (October 23, 2020). "Giants trade LB Markus Golden to Cardinals for 2021 sixth-round pick". NFL.com. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  39. ^ "Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals - November 8th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  40. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots - November 29th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  41. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants - December 13th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  42. ^ Urban, Darren (March 15, 2021). "Markus Golden Returns To Cardinals On Two-Year Contract". AZCardinals.com. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  43. ^ Urban, Darren (March 10, 2023). "Cardinals Cut Markus Golden, Bring Back Greg Dortch". AZCardinals.com. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  44. ^ DeArdo, Bryan (May 24, 2023). "Steelers signing Markus Golden: Ex-Cardinals pass-rusher joining Pittsburgh on one-year deal, per report". CBSSports.com. Retrieved May 26, 2023.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Markus Golden.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers bio
  • Missouri Tigers bio
  • v
  • t
  • e
Arizona Cardinals 2015 NFL draft selections
  • v
  • t
  • e
Pittsburgh Steelers roster
Active
Free agents
AFC East
BUF
MIA
NE
NYJ
North
BAL
CIN
CLE
PIT
South
HOU
IND
JAX
TEN
West
DEN
KC
LV
LAC
NFC East
DAL
NYG
PHI
WAS
North
CHI
DET
GB
MIN
South
ATL
CAR
NO
TB
West
ARI
LAR
SF
SEA