With the trade deadline coming up soon, the Arizona Cardinals managed to reacquire Markus Golden from the New York Giants for a 2021 sixth-round pick.
Though Golden’s years in New York were arguably not as productive as his time in Arizona, he is still a highly effective pass rusher and will be an important piece for the Cardinals, especially after the unfortunate loss of Chandler Jones to a bicep injury.
Over 23 games for the Giants, Markus Golden managed to rack up 11.5 sacks (10 in 2019), 78 total tackles and 1 TD from a fumble recovery.
He has been an effective pass rusher for the New York Giants even though his production has dipped in the current 2020 season.
His dip in production is not necessarily his fault though. The Giants have been poor all season and although their defence has played decent, the stats tell a different story due to the amount of pressure they have come
Daniel Jones’ offence is currently 28th in time of possession and joint 2nd in most turnovers with 13 (only the Cowboys with 15 have more).
Despite choking the ball up 13 times, the Giants defence has been able to keep the turnover ratio at -4, with 9 turnovers – a respectable total in context of the offensive incompetence.
Though Golden has only contributed 1.5 sacks this season so far for the Giants, it is important to note that he has been able to make space for other members on the Giants’ pass rush to get sacks.
The Giants defence sits at 6th in total sacks this season (18 sacks).
Though the Giants are having a poor season, the defensive production has been respectable and the lack of favourable statistics for Golden as an individual is no fault of his own – he has still been playing decent and the defence has been solid so far.
With that in mind, it is no doubt that Golden is a solid pickup for the Cardinals.
Arizona currently lacks starting calibre LBs on the defensive side of the ball. Gardeck has stepped up to the plate so far and Haason Reddick has been solid too but extra depth in this position is a necessity.
Primarily being a pass rusher, Golden will take the role that Chandler Jones previously had in the Cardinals’ 3-4 system. His run-stopping abilities are average, but he can apply pressure to the pocket well and get sacks too, making him a valuable addition to a defence that is in desperate need of depth in the OLB spots.
Perhaps this trade will not put the league on notice, but Cardinals fans are certainly buzzing. The loss of Golden after the 2018 season was disappointing for many fans who believed he had a bright
future playing opposite Chandler Jones.
Many fans will still remember the 2016 season when he had 12.5 sacks and was an integral part of the Cardinals defence, and many fans will hope that he can get back to that form on his return to the desert.