NFL Rumors: Markus Golden, Steelers Agree to 1-Year Contract in Free Agency

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 2023

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 12: Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals gets set against the New England Patriots at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to a one-year contract with veteran linebacker Markus Golden on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Golden appeared in 17 games with the Arizona Cardinals in 2022, finishing with 48 tackles, 2.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss.

In terms of their starters, the Steelers are set at outside linebacker. They have 2021 Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt on the left side and Alex Highsmith on the right. Pittsburgh didn't have a ton of depth off the edge, though.

The team used a fourth-round draft pick on Wisconsin linebacker Nick Herbig, while free-agent signings Elandon Roberts and Cole Holcomb figure to play through the middle.

Golden gives the Steelers an experienced backup behind Watt and Highsmith.

The 32-year-old's sack total last season tied for the second-lowest of his career, but he has hit double digits three times in the past. The most recent occasion was 2021, when the 6'3", 260-pound edge-rusher got to the quarterback 11 times.

Considering Watt has played a full season only twice since entering the NFL in 2017, there's a good chance Golden could be pressed into starting duty in 2023. Should that happen, he'd be a solid injury replacement and certainly better than what Pittsburgh previously had on its roster.