Steelers To Host OLB Markus Golden

Following a second stint with the Cardinals, Markus Golden is on the market again. Arizona’s new regime released the veteran pass rusher earlier this offseason, and he is making a trip to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers are hosting Golden on a visit, The Score’s Jordan Schultz tweets. The meeting will occur Wednesday, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets. Pittsburgh has locked-in starters, in T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, but is a bit thin behind its dynamic outside linebacker pair.

Golden, 32, had signed a Cardinals extension during the 2022 offseason but was not in the Monti OssenfortJonathan Gannon duo’s plans. The Steelers have also seen some turnover at edge rusher in recent years. After letting Bud Dupree walk in 2021, the Steelers signed Melvin Ingram and then traded him to the Chiefs a few months later. In 2022, they acquired Malik Reed from the Broncos. Reed has since rejoined Vic Fangio in Miami. The Steelers hosted Dupree on a visit earlier this offseason, but the former first-round pick signed with the Falcons.

Enjoying peaks and valleys over the course of his eight-year career, Golden has three double-digit sack seasons — though, none of those came in consecutive years. After a breakthrough 2016 slate included 12.5 sacks, Golden suffered an ACL tear early in the 2017 season. The Giants took a flier on Golden, who hit free agency with little momentum in 2019, and were rewarded with a 10-sack season. New York then placed a UFA tender on Golden in 2020 before trading him back to Arizona during that season. Lining up opposite Chandler Jones in 2021, Golden notched 11 sacks and four forced fumbles.

The Cards had re-signed Golden to a two-year, $5MM contract in 2021 but last year gave him an incentive-laden extension that pushed the deal through 2023. Despite Arizona receiving strong seasons from J.J. Watt and Zach Allen, their top edge rusher only totaled 2.5 sacks. Even though the sack count did not rival 2021, Golden posted similar pressure numbers. He tallied 20 QB hits in 2022 — one more than his 2021 number. Having played in 3-4 defenses throughout his career, Golden did not appear a fit for Gannon’s Eagles-imported defense.

With the Steelers hosting Dupree in March and Golden this week, they are clearly exploring a depth addition. They have several options. If Yannick Ngakoue, Jadeveon Clowney, Frank Clark and Leonard Floyd are deemed out of Pittsburgh’s price range, the likes of Justin Houston, Jason Pierre-Paul, Robert Quinn, Carlos Dunlap, Kyle Van Noy and Dawuane Smoot are among the veteran edge defenders available.

As of now, the Steelers roster Quincy Roche and fourth-round pick Nick Herbig behind Watt and Highsmith. It seems the team is aiming to enter the season with a better No. 3 OLB.

View Comments (1)