After two years with the Giants, outside linebacker Markus Golden is heading to back to his original NFL home. On Friday, the Giants agreed to trade the six-year veteran to the Cardinals in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick. The 58th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Golden spent his first four seasons with the Cardinals. As a rookie, his four sacks and two forced fumbles helped Arizona advance to the NFC Championship Game. The following season, the 6-foot-3, 260 pound Golden set career highs with 12.5 sacks and four forced fumbles despite starting in just three games.
After a torn ACL wiped out most of his 2017 season, Golden spent one more season in Arizona before signing with the Giants as a free agent in 2019. Last season, Golden led the Giants with 10 sacks while starting in all 16 games for the first time in his career. Golden's 10 sacks last season were the most by a Giants linebacker since Lawrence Taylor tallied 10.5 sacks in 1990. Golden, who signed his one-year tender with the Giants in August, had just 1.5 sacks in seven games with the Giants this season. In Thursday night's win over the Eagles, Golden was credited with a sack and two hits in 27 defensive snaps.
In Arizona, Golden will be joining a Cardinals team that is currently 4-2 entering Sunday night's game against the Seahawks. Arizona's defense is currently second in the league in scoring, second in red zone efficiency and seventh in third down efficiency.