Markus Golden
Golden in the 2017 NFL preseason.
No. 44     
Outside linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-03-13) March 13, 1991 (age 30)
Place of birth: St. Louis, Missouri
Career information
College: Missouri
NFL Draft: 2015 / Round: 2 / Pick: 58
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Arizona Cardinals ( 2015 2018)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* Second-team All-SEC (2014)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles     123
Sacks     19.0
Forced fumbles     6
Fumble recoveries     1
Interceptions     0

Markus Golden (born March 13, 1991) is an American football outside linebacker for the New York Giants of the National Football League(NFL). He was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college football at Missouri.

High school career

Golden was a record-setting running back and linebacker at Affton High School. As a senior, he ran for a record 2,264 yards and 30 touchdowns while also making 108 tackles and 10 sacks. His junior season saw him record a school-record 168 tackles and 16 sacks, while he also ran for 1,139 yards and 16 scores.

College career

Hutchinson Community College

As a freshman at Hutchinson, Golden made 90 tackles, including 26 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, to go with five forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions.

University of Missouri

Despite joining Missouri's team late due to clearinghouse issues, Golden was still able to provide a nice impact, playing in all 12 games (primarily on special teams) and made 10 tackles while forcing one fumble in all. He was also a major performer on various special teams units.

As a junior in 2013, Golden played about 40% of the snaps behind Kony Ealy and Michael Sam and led MU ends with 55 tackles on the year, and added 13 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks with 8 passes broken up.[1]

Golden entered his senior season as one of the premier pass rushers in the nation. He lived up to the hype, recording 21 tackles and 4 sacks in the first three games before a hamstring injury slowed him down and also kept him out of the game vs. Indiana. Despite this, he still finished the season with 78 tackles and 10 sacks on the season. He and teammate Shane Ray became the first Missouri teammates to both record double digit sacks in the same season.

Professional career

On December 24, 2014, it was announced that Golden had accepted his invitation to play in the 2015 Senior Bowl.[2] Throughout Senior Bowl practices, he impressed scouts and team representatives with his ability to get to the quarterback.[3] On January 24, 2015, Golden played in the Reese's Senior Bowl and made one tackle for a four-yard loss as he played for Jacksonville Jaguars' head coach Gus Bradley's South team that lost 34-13 to the North. He was one of 54 defensive linemen to attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Golden ran the 40-yard dash, 20-yard dash, and 10-yard dash before suffering a hamstring injury that kept him from completing the rest of the combine drills. A previous hand injury also made him unable to do the bench press and he finished 19th among his position group in the 40-yard dash.[4] On March 19, 2015, Golden opted to attend Missouri's pro day, along with Shane Ray, Marcus Murphy, Bud Sasser, Mitch Morse, and nine other prospects. He performed all of the combine drills and bested his times in the 40-yard dash (4.77s), 20-yard dash (2.77s), and 10-yard dash (1.71s) from the combine. Team representatives and scouts from 30 NFL teams attended, including Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin and assistant coaches from Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots.[5] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Golden was projected by NFL draft experts and scouts to be a third to fifth round pick. He was ranked the ninth best defensive end prospect by NFL analyst Charles Davis, was ranked the 12th best defensive end by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and was ranked the 14th best outside linebacker in the draft by[6][7][8]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 2 in 260 lb 4.90 s 1.68 s 2.81 s 4.59 s 7.39 s 28½ in 9 ft 2 in 17 rep

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals selected Golden in the second round (58th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Arizona Cardinals originally owned the No. 55 overall pick and had long-planned to draft Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, but he was selected by the Detroit Lions the pick prior (54th overall). They decided to trade their second round pick (55th overall) to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for the Ravens' second round pick (58th overall) and a fifth round pick (158th overall). The Baltimore Ravens selectsd Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams and the Arizona Cardinals opted to select David Johnson in the third round (86th overall).[10][11] He was the sixth outside linebacker and the first of two outside linebackers selected by the Arizona Cardinals, before Shaquille Riddick (158th overall).


On May 14, 2015, the Arizona Cardinals signed Golden to a four-year, $3.91 million contract that includes $1.72 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $1.10 million.[12]

Throughout training camp, Golden competed against Alex Okafor, Lorenzo Alexander, LaMarr Woodley, Shaquille Riddick, and Alani Fua for a job as the starting outside linebacker.[13] Head coach Bruce Arians named Golden the backup strongside linebacker behind LaMarr Woodley to begin the regular season.[14]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Arizona Cardinals' season-opener against the New Orleans Saints and recorded three combined tackles during their 31-19 victory. He made his first career tackle on Khiry Robinson after he ran for a three-yard gain in the third quarter.[15] The following week, he had one assisted tackle and had his first career sack during a 48-23 victory at the Chicago Bears. He made his first career sack with Kareem Martin as they both brought down Chicago Bears' quarterback Jimmy Clausen for a ten-yard loss in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.[16] On October 18, 2015, Golden made his first career start and recorded a season-high six combined tackles during a 25-13 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers. He started the next three games after starting weakside linebacker Alex Okafor suffered a calf injury and was ruled inactive.[17] In Week 11, Golden collected three solo tackles and made his first career solo sack on Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback Andy Dalton in their 34-31 victory. Golden missed the Arizona Cardinals' Week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks after suffering a knee injury.[18] He finished his rookie season with 31 combined tackles (21 solo) and four sacks in 15 games and six starts.[19]

The Arizona Cardinals finished the 2015 season atop the NFC West with a 13-3 record and received a playoff berth. On January 16, 2016, Golden received started his first career playoff game after Alex Okafor suffered a toe injury that managed to sideline him for the entire playoffs. He made three combined tackles during their 26-20 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional round. The following game, he made seven combined tackles as the Cardinals were routed 49-15 in the NFC Championship to the Carolina Panthers. He finished his rookie season with 31 combined tackles (21 solo), four sacks, and two forced fumbles in 15 games and six starts.[20]


Golden entered training camp competing Alex Okafor for the role as the starting outside linebacker.[21] He was named the starting weakside linebacker to begin the regular season, opposite newly acquired teammate Chandler Jones.[22]

He started the Arizona Cardinals' season-opener against the New England Patriots and made two solo tackles and sacked Jimmy Garoppolo in their 23-21 loss.[23] In Week 3, he made his first official start of the season and collected six combined tackles and sack on Buffalo Bills' quarterback Tyrod Taylor during a 33-18 lCardv On October 6, 2016, Golden recorded a career-high ten combined tackles (seven solo) and made two sacks on Blaine Gabbert as the Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 33-21.[24] It marked Golden's first career multi-sack game. On January 1, 2017, he made four combined tackles, deflected a pass, and a season-high 2.5 sacks on Jared Goff, as the Cardinals routed the Los Angeles Rams 44-6. Golden finished the season with 51 combined tackles, 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and a pass deflection in 16 games and three starts.[25]

He led the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks and finished third in the entire league. Golden and Chandler Jones became the first Arizona Cardinals duo to both finish with a double-digit sack total since 1984. Chandler Jones had 11 sacks and they combined for 22.5 total sacks.[26] The Arizona Cardinals did not receive a playoff berth after finishing with a 7-8-1 record and ended their season second in the NFC West in 2016.


Golden entered he 2017 slated as the starting weakside linebacker after having a stellar season in 2016. On September 17, 2017, Golden recorded a season-high four combined tackles in a 16-13 victory at the Indianapolis Colts. On October 1, 2017, Golden collected three solo tackles before leaving the game due to injury as the Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 18-15. The following day, it was discovered Golden had suffered a torn ACL and was ruled out for the season.[27] He finished the season with 11 solo tackles in four games and four starts. The Arizona Cardinals finished third in the NFC West with an 8-8 record.[28]


In 2018, Golden started 11 games, recording 30 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

New York Giants

On March 14, 2019, Golden signed a one-year deal worth $3,750,000 contract with the New York Giants.[29]


  1. Goodbread, Chase (May 27, 2014). "Missouri DE Markus Golden aims to be next top Tigers DL". NFL Enterprises. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  2. "Missouri’s Markus Golden Accepts Senior Bowl Invitation". December 24, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  3. "Mizzou’s Markus Golden making strong impression at Senior Bowl". January 23, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  4. James Brady (February 22, 2015). "NFL Combine 2015: Full results for defensive linemen". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  5. Gil Brandt (March 20, 2015). "Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin on hand for Missouri's pro day". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  6. Charles Davis (April 1, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft prospect rankings by position". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  7. Mike Mayock (April 27, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock's top 100 prospects". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  8. "Markus Golden, DS #14 OLB, Missouri". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  9. "NFL Draft Profile: Markus Golden". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  10. Lent Somers (September 8, 2017). "Cardinals' 2015 draft landed David Johnson, Markus Golden: From agony to ecstasy". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  11. Aaron Wilson (May 1, 2015). "Maxx Williams gives Ravens long-term plan at tight end". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  12. " Markus Golden contract". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  13. " Arizona Cardinals depth chart: 07/01/2015". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  14. Jess Root (September 8, 2015). "Arizona Cardinals depth chart: Earl Watford to start at RT, Ifeanyi Momah a starter". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  15. "NFL Game Center: Week 1-2015: New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  16. "NFL Game Center: Week 2-2015: Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  17. "Linebacker Alex Okafor set to return to Cardinals". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  18. Jess Root (December 30, 2015). "Arizona Cardinals injuries: Markus Golden suffers knee injury, could miss regular season finale". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  19. "NFL Player stats: Markus Golden (2015)". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  20. "NFL Player stats: Markus Golden (2014)". Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  21. Jess Root (July 28, 2016). "Cardinals training camp battles: Markus Golden vs. Alex Okafor". Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  22. Alex Mann (September 5, 2016). "Arizona Cardinals release first Depth Chart of 2016". Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  23. "NFL Game Center: Week 1-2016: New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals". Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  24. "NFL Game Center: Week 5-2016: Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers". Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  25. "NFL Player stats: Markus Golden (2016)". Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  26. Weinfuss, Josh (January 2, 2017). "Markus Golden, Chandler Jones Cardinals' first double-digit sack duo in 32 years". Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  27. Urban, Darren (October 2, 2017). "Markus Golden Out For The Season".
  28. "Why Bruce Arians is retiring as Arizona Cardinals head coach". January 1, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  29. Williams, Charean (March 14, 2019). "Giants agree to terms with Markus Golden". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.

External links

Template:Arizona Cardinals 2015 draft navbox

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