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Steelers Sign Veteran Outside Linebacker



Steelers OLB Markus Golden

The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to a one-year contract with outside linebacker Markus Golden, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN. The Steelers hosted Golden on a free-agent visit on Wednesday.

Golden, 32, joins the Steelers after spending six of his seven NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

The 6-foot-3, 260-pound linebacker was the Cardinals’ second-round pick in there 2015 NFL Draft out of Missouri, taken two picks after the Steelers selected cornerback Senquez Golson.

Golden was an immediate contributor for the Cardinals, starting six games as a rookie and then breaking out with a 12.5-sack season in 2016. He missed time with injuries in 2017 and 2019, and left Arizona, signing as a free agent with the New York Giants.

Golden posted a 10-sack season with Big Blue in 2019 and re-signed in New York for 2020. In Oct. 2020, he was traded back to the Cardinals for a sixth-round draft pick.

In his first full season back in the desert in 2021, Golden again posted double-digit sack totals with 11. He also had four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a pass defensed.

But inconsistency remained the issue for Golden. In 2022, he started 14 games, the second-most in his career, and played in all 17, but posted just 2.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss.

The Steelers will likely use Golden as their No. 3 outside linebacker behind starters T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, a role that the team has had trouble filling since Highsmith was elevated to a starting job in 2021.

The Steelers tried Melvin Ingram in that role in 2021 and Malik Reed in 2022, but neither player was able to have much success in Pittsburgh behind the pair of bookend stars.

When Watt missed significant playing time with a torn pectoral muscle in 2022, the club’s fortunes suffered. By signing Golden, the Steelers have an insurance policy against a repeat of that.

In addition to Golden, Quincy Roche, DeMarvin Leal and fourth-round draft pick Nick Herbig are in competition for playing time behind Watt and Highsmith.

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William R. Maloni Sr.
William R. Maloni Sr.
May 24, 2023 5:31 pm

Excellent choice; considered one of the top FAs available in post-season reviews.

Kudos, Omar.

May 28, 2023 3:12 pm

Excellent choice; considered one of the top FAs available in post-season reviews.

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