After re-signing on a one-year deal with the New York Giants in July, Markus Golden failed to ever find his footing with the new coaching staff in East Rutherford. Despite being fresh off a year in which he posted the first double-digit sack campaign from a Giants player since Jason Pierre-Paul’s 12.5 sacks ways back in 2014, Golden rarely managed to crack the rotation at outside linebacker and was eventually deemed expendable.
In late October, the Giants dealt the 29-year-old to the Arizona Cardinals in what felt more like a dumping rather than a deal New York simply couldn’t afford to refuse. In return for Golden’s services, Big Blue received a meager 2021 sixth-round selection.
Since then, New York has seen Kyler Fackrell and Oshane Ximines each join Lorenzo Carter on injured reserve. This, alongside the trade of Golden, has left the Giants stripped of their top-four pass-rushers from the start of the year and left relying on veteran Jabaaal Sheard and rookies Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin to apply pressure on the edge. While the trio of Sheard, Brown and Coughlin has exceeded expectations thus far, it’s safe to say Golden would have found himself in a key role for New York had the team not opted to move off of him.
However, it sounds like Golden is more than happy with how things turned out.
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Markus Golden to Giants: ‘I’m Going to Come With it’
“That’s just football,” Golden said, per the New York Post. “I never want to be on the field because a guy gets injured. I want to be on the field because I deserve to be on the field. I’m happy I’m a linebacker with the Cardinals right now.”
It’s easy to see why Golden would be happy with how things turned out, as The Post’s Ryan Dunleavy notes, Golden is averaging 48 snaps per game since joining the Cardinals. This, essentially doubling his snap count with the Giants this year (24.6 snaps per game over six games).
Now back with the team that made him a second-round pick back in 2015, and playing a prominent role on their defense, Golden is planning to “come with it” in his return to Metlife.
“Those guys who played with me know how hard I go and know I’m going to come with it, and I know they are competitive, too,” Golden said. “I’m excited about the game. This is a job, this a business. I got traded. There are some good guys over there and I have a lot of respect for them.”
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Golden Praises Giants’ Offensive Line
As a member of Big Blue, Golden saw first hand the struggles the Giants were having up front on the offensive side of the football early on this season. However, in recent weeks the offensive line unit has vastly improved their play, serving as a key catalyst over their four-game win streak.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants’ offensive line ranks ninth in pass-blocking efficiency (pressures per pass-block snap, weighted towards sacks) over the past five weeks of play. Furthermore, rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas, who looked like a turnstile to kick off the season, has now gone two straight games without allowing a pressure.
New York’s improved play has caught the eye of Golden:
“We’ve got a lot of good coaches and scouts that are doing the hard work and diving into the film,” Golden said. “I’m focusing on the offensive side of the ball — Daniel Jones and the line up front have been playing well the last couple games, and we know it’s going to be a physical game.”