Markus Golden

Contract Details: Williams, Webb, Verrett

Here are the latest particulars in recently agreed-upon contracts, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (unless otherwise noted).

Contract Details: Funchess, LaCosse, Golden

Some assorted contract notes from around the NFL:

  • Devin Funchess, WR (Colts): One year, $10MM. $7MM guaranteed via roster bonus. $3MM base salary. $3MM in incentives for receptions, receiving yards, TDs, Pro Bowl, All-Pro. Twitter link via Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star.
  • Tyrann Mathieu, S (Chiefs): Three years, $42MM. $26.8MM guaranteed, $14.8MM signing bonus. Base salaries: $850K (2019), $1.15MM (2020), $14.5MM (2021, nonguaranteed). Details via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • K.J. Wright, LB (Seahawks): Two years, up to $15MM (original story). $8MM in 2019, including $5MM signing bonus, $1.5MM base salary, $1.5MM roster bonus. Second year isn’t guaranteed. Twitter link via ESPN’s Brady Henderson.
  • Matt LaCosse, TE (Patriots): Two years, $2MM, $500K guaranteed for 2019 (original story). Base salaries: $700K (2019), $1MM (2020). $300K signing bonus, $25K per-game bonus. $500K in playing time/receptions incentives. Twitter link via Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate.
  • Markus Golden, LB (Giants): One year. Worth up to $4.75MM, $2.225MM guaranteed. Twitter link via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
  • Cameron Fleming, OT (Cowboys): Two years, $8.5MM. 2019: $1MM base salary, $1.5MM signing bonus, $2.25MM cap number. $300K for 60-percent playing time, $600K for 70-percent. Twitter link via ESPN’s Todd Archer.
  • Bruce Ellington, WR (Patriots): One year, $25K guaranteed. Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

Giants To Sign Markus Golden

The Giants have agreed to a one-year deal with edge rusher Markus Golden, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Golden will leave the Cardinals to follow former Arizona defensive coordinator James Bettcher to New York. At only 28 years of age, Golden had developed a market in free agency, with the Raiders, Buccaneers, and Chiefs all expressing various levels of interest.

In 2016, Golden notched 12.5 sacks for the Cardinals. Unfortunately, a torn ACL ended his 2017 campaign early and cost him time in 2018. He managed to return for eleven games last year, but he wasn’t the same player – Golden had just 2.5 sacks and 30 tackles and graded out as one of the lowest-ranked edge defenders in the league, per Pro Football Focus.

Golden should get plenty of opportunities to rush the passer in New York. No other Giants player has posted more than 10 career sacks, and Big Blue finished 31st in adjusted sack rate a year ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Multiple Teams Showing Interest In Markus Golden

The Raiders are among several teams who have shown interest in former Cardinals edge rusher Markus Golden, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area (on Twitter). Golden has already fielded multiple offers and he’s currently weighing his options. The Buccaneers are also interested in Golden’s services (Twitter link via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com), and Vic Tafur tweets that the Chiefs are in on him as well, as they seek to strengthen a suddenly depleted pass rush.

The Raiders have been extremely active in March, but they could still use some additional firepower in the pass rush department. Golden would help on that front, though the Raiders are still expected to address that area in the draft next month. The Bucs are in better shape as far as pass rushers are concerned, but they still ranked in the bottom half of the league in total sacks last year and were one of the worst teams against the pass.

In 2016, Golden notched 12.5 sacks for the Cardinals. Unfortunately, a torn ACL ended his 2017 campaign early and cost him time in 2018. He managed to return for eleven games last year, but he wasn’t the same player – Golden had just 2.5 sacks and 30 tackles and graded out as one of the lowest-ranked edge defenders in the league, per Pro Football Focus.

The Giants and defensive coordinator James Bettcher also reportedly have Golden on the radar, which Tafur confirmed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Golden, Jackson, Marshall

Here’s the latest from around the NFL:

  • The Giants have interest in Cardinals free agent Markus Golden, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). As per usual, free agent pass rushers are expected to cash in big, so Golden could be looking at a substantial deal. Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coached Golden in Arizona in 2016 when he notched 12.5 sacks, so it’s a logical fit.
  • The Broncos placed a call on Malik Jackson after his release from Jacksonville, a source close to the player tells Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). However, the Broncos didn’t really need Jackson, and they have placed a greater emphasis on finding a nose tackle. Jackson, of course, inked a three-year, $30MM deal with the Eagles this morning.
  • Five teams are interested in Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, according to ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson (on Twitter). As previously reported, Marshall’s option for 2019 will not be exercised.

NFC Rumors: Redskins, Childress, 49ers

One of Eric Weddle‘s many suitors came from the NFC East. The Redskins inquired about the safety, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Ben Standig, but Weddle preferred the Rams’ proposal. Washington may be a spot for one of the many starter-caliber safeties on this year’s market, with the team having waived D.J. Swearinger and with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix‘s contract having expired.

Here is the latest from Washington, along with other NFC teams, with the legal tampering period less than 48 hours away.

  • The Redskins’ Case Keenum trade frees them up to make more competitive offers to non-quarterbacks in free agency, instead of seeing Teddy Bridgewater or Tyrod Taylor proposals complicate the team’s plan. However, Washington is still expected to add at this spot this offseason, and Standig notes it won’t be a Josh Johnson reunion — barring a Colt McCoy departure. Another Johnson pact was previously mentioned as a possibility, but that may no longer be in the cards. Washington profiles as a possible quarterback destination in this year’s draft, but in picking at No. 15 and unlikely to trade up, this may be one of the teams that waits for 2020’s higher-profile group of quarterbacks.
  • The rumors of Markus Golden hitting the market look accurate, with AZCardinals.com’s Mike Jurecki tweeting the veteran edge rusher is set for free agency. The Cardinals and Golden engaged in talks earlier this offseason, but nothing of consequence emerged from those discussions. While Golden stands to benefit from the franchise tags handed out to the top-tier pass rushers who could have hit the market, and Jurecki posits a possible Golden reunion with former Cards DC James Bettcher via Giants signing, the former second-round pick has not been productive since the 2016 season. Golden’s ACL tear in 2017 sidetracked his career, halting the momentum he’d created with a 12.5-sack 2016.
  • Brad Childress may be ready to circle back to the Bears. Affiliated with Matt Nagy‘s first Bears staff briefly, Childress then bolted for the Alliance of American Football. But he did not last until the AAF’s opener. However, Childress looks set to rejoin Nagy in Chicago, with NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweeting the former Vikings HC is expected to serve in an offensive consulting role under Nagy. Childress and Nagy worked together with the Chiefs. Childress also retired after the 2017 season, but that turned out to be quite short-lived.
  • The 49ers still want to bring back Jimmie Ward, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, but it doesn’t appear their interest goes beyond the one-year offer they were dangling for the 2014 first-round pick. Ward was thought to be on the outs in San Francisco, but the team did not receive much consistency from its secondary last season. San Francisco’s staff graded the versatile defensive back as the team’s best secondary cog, Maiocco adds, prior to his season-ending injury in November, Maiocco adds.
  • The contract the 49ers gave kicker Jonathan Brown is a two-year deal, the team announced. San Francisco used its franchise tag on Robbie Gould. Brown was with the Bengals during the past three training camps but has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Markus Golden Likely To Hit Open Market

Just yesterday, we heard that the Cardinals and impending free agent Markus Golden have engaged in “periodic” contract talks. The implication was that Arizona could perhaps retain the talented pass rusher on a team-friendly deal, but it appears that Golden will not be under contract when free agency opens on March 13.

Per Matt Verderame of FanSided, Golden is expected to hit the open market (Twitter link). And given the premium that the league places on pass rushers, it is logical for him to do so, especially since Arizona does not appear willing to pony up a lot of cash to keep him. Verderame suggests that the Cardinals, who already have $19.5MM of their 2019 cap devoted to fellow edge defender Chandler Jones and who like the pass rushing talent available in this year’s draft, may not have a Golden re-up high on their list of priorities.

Golden has been limited by a torn ACL suffered in October 2017, which ended his 2017 campaign prematurely and forced him to miss the first several games of the 2018 season. He did end up playing in (and starting) 11 contests for the Cardinals last year, but he was clearly not the same explosive force he was in 2016, when he compiled 12.5 sacks and appeared on the verge of stardom.

Nonetheless, he will be just 28 next month — on March 13, coincidentally — and has at least some experience in both a 4-3 and 3-4 scheme. The upside is clearly there, and once some of the top pass rushers who are eligible for free agency are taken off the market via the franchise tag, Golden will begin to look more attractive.

Golden claims that he is fully healthy, and he believes the fact that he has been able to work out normally this offseason instead of rehabbing an injury will help him return to his 2016 level of performance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals, Markus Golden In Talks

Although the Cardinals have another new coaching staff in place, Markus Golden has not been ruled out of the team’s plans.

Golden’s agent and the Cardinals have engaged in periodic discussions about staying in Arizona, the four-year veteran linebacker said during a Sirius XM Radio interview.

Kliff Kingsbury hired Vance Joseph to be his DC. Joseph used a 4-3 look during his season as the Dolphins’ DC in 2016 but kept the Broncos’ 3-4 set intact during his Denver stay. He said the Cardinals will use a 3-4 as well. Golden would prefer to land with a team that uses a 3-4 defense, though the former University of Missouri standout played as a 4-3 defensive end in college and functioned in this capacity last season after the Cards’ brief switch to a 4-3 alignment.

A torn ACL sidetracked Golden’s career. After a 12.5-sack 2016 season, the former second-round pick has registered just 2.5 since. He tore the ACL in October 2017 and was not ready by Week 1 of last season. Golden started 11 games last year, however.

I’m basically a hundred percent; I feel good,” Golden said during the interview. “I’ve been working hard. I’ve been training and everything. And I’ve actually been able to actually get this offseason and been able to work this offseason.

“… Arizona gave me the opportunity to play, so we’ll see how it works out. No matter what happens, I’ll be ready and I’ll be prepared because I’m going to keep on working and I’m going to keep putting the work in.”

While Golden is entering free agency with little momentum, he probably stands to benefit from the slew of pass rushers likely set to be taken off the market via the franchise tag. DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford and Frank Clark are almost certainly not going to see free agency this year. This would stand to elevate the lower tiers of the UFA pass-rushing contingent, though Golden likely is not in line for a long-term deal given his recent history.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Notes: Rosen, Golden, LBs, Smith

With the Cardinals‘ prospects for a playoff berth looking as bleak as they have in a September since before Carson Palmer arrived, noise around the team beginning the Josh Rosen era has obviously increased. Arizona’s Sam Bradford-led attack did not cross midfield until the fourth quarter against the Rams, and the Cards have just six points this season — the fewest of any team through two games since the 2006 Buccaneers. However, don’t count on a Rosen in-game promotion if Arizona’s struggles continue against the Bears on Sunday. While Steve Keim said (via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic) the first-round pick “has got to be ready,” he would prefer Steve Wilks give him a full week of first-string reps rather than throw him into the fire. As for Wilks, he does see the UCLA product making strides. Rosen was billed as the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft yet will be the last to see action of his first-round peers.

Number one, I think the guy is progressing,” Wilks said during an interview with Sirius XM’s Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan. “He does a great job each and every week trying to prepare himself. He does get some reps with the ones each and every week, so from that standpoint, it’s good. And then he does an excellent job just as far as running the show team as well, so his operation each week is with the ones as well as on the show team. Prep has been good.

“When the time is right, we’ll definitely get him in there.”

Here’s the latest out of the desert:

  • Markus Golden and Jermaine Gresham appear on track to make their 2018 debuts. Both players progressed to full practices this week for the first time this year, per McManaman. Golden’s been out since Week 4 of last season because of an ACL tear. Gresham hasn’t played since Week 17, when the tight end ruptured an Achilles’ tendon. Both began camp on the PUP list. This will be Gresham’s age-30 season, and it’s even more critical for Golden. The edge rusher is set to begin a contract year, so showing he’s recovered from the severe knee injury will be paramount for his stock. Golden finished with 12.5 sacks in 2016. Both players are listed as questionable for Sunday.
  • The Cardinals’ new 4-3 defense has looked more like a 4-2-5 look thus far, and that’s resulted in Haason Reddick seeing sparse action in his second season. The 2017 first-rounder’s played only 17 snaps thus far. The Cards’ 2014 first-rounder, Deone Bucannon, was benched against the Rams, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic notes. Bucannon’s been a full-time starter at either safety or linebacker since his rookie year. Bucannon is also in a contract year. Josh Bynes leads Cardinals linebackers with 141 snaps, and Pro Football Focus tabbed him as the No. 10 overall ‘backer through two games. Bucannon sits 70th on that list, mostly due to Week 1 struggles. Nomad defender Gerald Hodges replaced Bucannon in Week 2.
  • Andre Smith remains out for Arizona because of an elbow injury, meaning John Wetzel will start again for the Cards in Week 3, McManaman notes. Considering Khalil Mack frequently lines up opposite right tackles, this poses another problem for a Cards team that’s experienced many thus far this season.

Extra Points: Panthers, Cardinals, Texans

Earlier this offseason, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis made it sound like 2018 was going to be his final season in the NFL. However, the veteran acknowledged last month that he was open to continuing his playing career in 2019. Today, the 35-year-old echoed that sentiment, telling Panthers.com that his impending four-game suspension played a role in him changing his mind.

“I look at the way things transpired this offseason and think back to, really, my legacy and the things that I’ve been able to do as a football player,” Davis said. “I don’t want to leave on a sour note. You never want to walk away from the game knowing that you served a four-game suspension. That’s my mindset right now.”

Davis, who finished last season with 52 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 15 games, has been especially upbeat during this year’s training camp.

“When you factor in that (suspension), and the fact that I may not ever get another training camp – I embrace it every day,” Davis said. “Talk trash to Cam (Newton) at a high level daily. Just competing and having fun with my teammates – that’s what training camp is all about.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Markus Golden is still working his way back from an ACL injury that ended his 2017 campaign. The Cardinals defensive end hasn’t been able to participate in coach Steve Wilks and coordinator Al Holcomb‘s defense, but he’s still found reasons to be encouraged heading into next season. “Ever since I got injured – especially once I found out I wasn’t going to be in camp – I wanted to encourage guys,” Golden told Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “You can tell they are competing. And that’s what I want to see.” Specifically, Golden was pointing to the trio of players who are stepping up in his absence: Vontarrius Dora, Benson Mayowa and Arthur Moats.
  • While Texans running back D’Onta Foreman remains on the physically unable to perform list, it sounds like the second-year weapon is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon. “I think he’s progressing well,” coach Bill O’Brien told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I think he’s doing well. He’s on the right track, and we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes, but I think he’s headed in the right direction.” Foreman’s season ended in November, at which point he had compiled 327 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 78 carries.
  • In case you missed it, the Patriots moved on from wideout Malcolm Mitchell earlier today. The former fourth-rounder had been unable to stay healthy during his stint in New England.