Steelers Sign Former Cardinals Sack King To A Contract

Markus Golden

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed linebacker Markus Golden to a one-year contract, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Golden, who previously played for the Arizona Cardinals, visited the Steelers on Tuesday and finalized the deal by Wednesday. This signing comes after Golden was released by the Cardinals as a cap casualty earlier in the offseason.

The 32-year-old linebacker will aim to revive his performance with the Steelers, particularly as he plays alongside the formidable duo of T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith.

Golden’s productivity took a dip last season, as he managed just 2.5 sacks despite playing more snaps than in 2021, a season in which he he recorded an impressive 11 sacks. Since entering the league in 2015, Golden has shown inconsistency as a pass rusher.

While it remains to be seen how Golden will perform in Pittsburgh, at the very least, he brings veteran experience and adds depth to a Steelers’ pass rush that has limited options behind Watt and Highsmith.

With 47 sacks in 111 career games, the 6’3″, 260-pound pass-rusher has demonstrated his ability to disrupt opposing offenses. He achieved double-digit sack numbers in three of his seasons, with a career-high of 12.5 sacks in 2016 which led the team in that category over All-Pro Chandler Jones.

Additionally, Golden has accumulated 130 quarterback hits and 62 tackles for a loss throughout his career.

The Cardinals released Markus Golden as a cost-saving measure earlier this offseason. By parting ways with Golden, the Cardinals saved $3 million while incurring a $1 million dead cap hit.

Originally drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Golden had become an integral part of their defense. However, his sack rate declined significantly from 11 sacks in 2021 to just 2.5 sacks with seven tackles for loss in 17 games last year. With J.J. Watt’s retirement, the Cardinals will likely focus on the upcoming draft to fill the void left by both players.