While Bud Dupree left his Pittsburgh visit without a deal, the Steelers are not letting Markus Golden do the same. The veteran edge rusher met with the team today and intends to sign, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
The sides agreed on a one-year contract. This comes two-plus months after the Cardinals cut ties with Golden, who enjoyed two stints in Arizona. The ninth-year outside linebacker will now be positioned to work as a rotational rusher behind starters T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith.
This signing gives the Steelers four pass rushers who have totaled a double-digit sack season. Altogether, this quartet — Watt, Highsmith, Golden, Cameron Heyward — has combined for 11 such seasons. Golden has contributed three over the course of his career, the most recent coming in 2021 (11 sacks). While Golden did not approach that total last season, he displayed similar pressure numbers by totaling more quarterback hits (20) than he did in 2021 (19).
Golden is heading into his age-32 season, making this signing similar to the Melvin Ingram addition of 2021. The Steelers will obviously hope this turns out better. They ended up trading a disgruntled Ingram to Kansas City, where he closed out his age-32 season. Golden has a more productive recent past compared to Ingram at this point in their respective careers.
Consistency has eluded Golden, however. The former second-round pick surged to a career-best 12.5 sacks in 2016, but a 2017 ACL tear sapped that momentum. Golden did not regain his pre-surgery form in 2018, leading to the Giants taking a one-year flier during the 2019 free agency period. That bet paid off. After trading Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon in consecutive offseasons, the Giants saw Golden lead their 2019 edition in sacks (10). New York placed the rarely used UFA tender on Golden in 2020 but traded him back to Arizona that October. Golden spent the past two-plus seasons with the Cardinals, delivering up-and-down production.
With Chandler Jones out for most of the 2020 season, Golden totaled just three sacks as a Cardinal. The Cards still re-signed Golden to a two-year, $5MM deal in 2021, leading to the 11-sack showing opposite Jones. That production then led to the Cards adding a year to Golden’s deal, though the team’s new regime bailed on that extra year in March. With Jones in Las Vegas last year, Golden totaled just 2.5 sacks — his lowest number since 2017.
This Pittsburgh pact should offer Golden plenty of favorable matchups. Watt and Michael Strahan share the official single-season sack record (22.5), and Highsmith moved himself onto the extension radar with a 14.5-sack slate late year. The Steelers have not received the production they have sought from their top OLB backup in recent years; Ingram and Malik Reed each registered one sack during their respective years in Pittsburgh. (Reed, a 2022 trade acquisition, has since signed with the Dolphins.) Golden should provide a higher floor for this role, as the Steelers — the league’s sack champions from 2017-21 — aim to keep their pass rush elite.
14 comments on “Steelers To Sign OLB Markus Golden”
I admittedly don’t know much about Golden and would wonder how he compares to Dupree, Van Noy and a couple other names we heard were possible adds. Still, again you have to give Khan a great deal of credit for addressing needs
I actually like him more than Bud as a situational pass rusher. Golden is quick & smooth off the edge
Honestly, Golden’s career stats and general description of skill set are very similar to Bud’s… but Golden has been a backup before and already understands how to contribute as a #3 OLB.
ya that’s similar to what I’m saying. On field the entire game, going Bud.
Want a guy who’s quick off the edge on 3rd down, going Golden.
As long as he understands his role…thumbs up!
ya let’s not pull a Melvin Ingram
Have to wonder what was communicated to Ingram. But we wondered the same about Fournette and Harrison’s second stint here. Then there’s Trubisky and Rudolph.
I think guys hear what they want to hear
they told Ingram he was going to compete with an inexperienced player for starting OLB
.. then he met Alex Highsmith
Markus Golden OLB vet-
eran 32 y.o. ..9 year vet
with cards / giants.
6’ 2 3/8” 260 lbs..4.77
40 yard dash at 2015
10 1/2” large hands.
28 1/2” vertical..9’ 2”
broad jump..17 reps
of 225 lbs..
In 2022 started 14
of 17 games..has
47 career sacks.
If Omar Khan has any better of a first offseason, he’s going to have his own statue built on Art Rooney Drive. As a Steeler fan I’m used to basically hibernating all spring and right up to training camp, but not this year.
One question…..Will Roethlisberger be rooting for this guy to have a good season?
I was never a Roethlisberger fan. Good QB, low character type of guy
It’s funny that all of the daggers Rodgers took for being resentful of GB taking Love—because how dare they plan for life after their star’s retirement, anyway—is exactly what Roethlisberger felt. Only, he went one step further in not having any dealings with Rudolph at all, offering no advice, pointers, etc., instead acting as the prima donna he always was
So to some of us, this comment to Pickett was no surprise. His ego continues to be stratospheric
I’m surprised he admitted to it. Some things you should keep to yourself
Anyone who claims to know what kind of season this guy will have is either delusional or Nostradamus.