Giants Rumors: Ex-Cardinals Pass-Rusher Markus Golden Signs 1-Year Contract

Megan ArmstrongContributor IIIMarch 14, 2019

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
Ralph Freso/Associated Press

The New York Giants are restocking their cupboard after the first official day of 2019 NFL free agency on Wednesday saw several players leave the team. 

On Thursday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that former Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden will sign a one-year contract with the Giants. The news followed shortly after the Giants landed wide receiver Golden Tate in free agency.

Rapoport added that Golden will reunite with former Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher in New York, where he will be "intent on proving he's one of the top pass-rushers" now that he's fully healthy. 

Golden has spent all four seasons of his NFL career with the Cardinals since the franchise drafted him in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft. The Missouri product played under Bettcher, who has the same role with the Giants, in Arizona until last season.

Golden's best season under Bettcher came in 2016 when tallied a career-high 12.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in 16 games. That season was followed by his worst—one when he tore his ACL on Oct. 1, costing him the remainder of the 2017 season. 

Last season, Golden was still battling injury, missing the first three games of the season during his recovery and the final two games of 2018 due to an ankle injury.

Ahead of his free agency, Golden told Kyle Odegard of the team's official website he would "love" to stay with the Cardinals: 

"The Cardinals brought me here. They didn't have to draft me. They didn't have to do everything they did for me and my family to change my life and be able to play in the NFL. I'd love to stay here and be an Arizona Cardinal for the rest of my career, because this is the team that believe in me and gave me a chance to play in the NFL. 

"That's all I ever wanted my whole life."

While Arizona decided to part ways, Golden will likely be happy to see Bettcher's familiar face in New York.

Golden will join safety Antoine Bethea as former Cardinals who were picked up by the Giants in free agency. Bethea will try to fill the void left behind by Landon Collins, who left New York for a six-year, $84 million deal with the Washington Redskins. 

In 2018, the Giants finished No. 24 in the league in total defense but second-to-last in sacks. Linebacker Olivier Vernon led the team with seven sacks but was traded by the Giants to the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday.

The Giants will hope that the Golden from 2016 can apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks along with defensive tackle B.J. Hill, who broke the team record for rookie sacks with 5.5 last season.

Related

    Predicting the Draft's Most Surprising Picks

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Predicting the Draft's Most Surprising Picks

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    Could Offseason Losses Spell Doom for the Pats?

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Could Offseason Losses Spell Doom for the Pats?

    Gary Davenport
    via Bleacher Report

    Miller's New 3-Round Mock Draft ✍️

    💪 Kyler the 1st QB taken 🔮 Lock's stock going up? ➡️ Predictions with a month to go

    New York Giants logo
    New York Giants

    Miller's New 3-Round Mock Draft ✍️

    💪 Kyler the 1st QB taken 🔮 Lock's stock going up? ➡️ Predictions with a month to go

    Matt Miller
    via Bleacher Report

    Which Proposed NFL Rule Changes Could Fix the Game?

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Which Proposed NFL Rule Changes Could Fix the Game?

    The Ringer
    via The Ringer