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10 things you need to know about OLB Markus Golden

Markus Golden Signs Contract

Ten things you need to know about outside linebacker Markus Golden:

1. Golden was originally selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round (58th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Missouri.

2. He appeared in 46 games (24 starts) during his first four seasons, totaling 19.0 sacks, 44 quarterback hits, six forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He missed the final 12 games of the 2017 campaign after suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 4.

3. Golden had a breakout season in 2016 with a career-high 12.5 sacks, 22 quarterback hits, 16 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles.

4. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound edge rusher became the first player in Cardinals history with at least one sack in each of the first five games of a season in 2016, and finished the year with at least one sack in each of the final four contests.

5. He combined with Chandler Jones (11.0) to become the Cardinals’ first double-digit sacks duo since 1984 and just the third in franchise history.

6. Golden played his first three seasons under current Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who held the same post in Arizona from 2015-17. In those three years, the Cards’ defense was consistently among the NFL’s best in yardage allowed, ranking fifth in 2015 (321.7), second in 2016 (305.2) and sixth in 2017 (310.9). Arizona was also one of the league’s most effective run-stopping units each season, finishing sixth (91.3), ninth (94.9) and sixth again (89.6). The Cardinals also consistently harassed opposing quarterbacks under Bettcher. In 2016, they led the NFL with 48 sacks.

7. Golden also reunites with outside linebacker Kareem Martin and safety Antoine Bethea. Martin, who signed with the Giants last offseason, was drafted by the Cardinals a year before Golden. Bethea spent the past two of his 13 seasons in the NFL with Arizona before signing with the Giants this week.

8. Golden becomes the Giants’ active sacks leader. The Giants defense recorded 30 sacks last season, tied with the Super Bowl champion Patriots for 30th in the NFL. Only the Raiders (13) had fewer.

9. In three seasons at the University of Missouri, Golden appeared in 39 games (13 starts) and registered 143 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and an interception. He returned a fumble recovery 30 yards for a TD (2014) and his only career interception 70 yards for a TD (2013). He was voted a team co-captain by his teammates as a senior in 2014, earning second-team All-SEC honors at DE from the league’s coaches and was an Associated Press honorable mention All-SEC selection. He had a career performance in his final college game, earning MVP honors at the Citrus Bowl with a game-high 10 tackles, four tackles for loss, a forced fumble and 1.5 sacks. He switched to defensive end as a junior after beginning his college career at linebacker.

10. Golden was a record-setting running back and linebacker at Affton (St. Louis) High School, where he ran for 2,264 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior while collecting 108 tackles and 10.0 sacks. He posted a school-record 168 tackles and 16.0 sacks as a junior, while rushing for 1,139 yards and 16 touchdowns.

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