The NY Giants traded linebacker Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals Friday
The NY Giants made a trade Friday, ahead of next month’s deadline, sending outside linebacker Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Golden, 29, was the NY Giants’ most productive pass rusher last season, producing 10 sacks but saw his role dramatically diminished in 2020 under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
According to a team source with knowledge of the Giants’ plans, the trade was made to clear the path for younger players to get snaps and in anticipation of the salary cap dropping in 2021, the source tells GMenHQ.
Trading Golden at this point in the season saves the Giants approximately $2.4 million in cap space this year, which the Cardinals now inherit.
As of Friday, the Giants are anticipated to have approximately $16.8 million in cap space under current cap projections, the 17th most in the league.
Golden was set to become a free agent after this season, but the Giants would not have accrued a compensatory pick because he was playing 2020 on a restricted free agent tender.
Through the first seven weeks of this season, Golden has just 1.5 sacks, 14 pressures and eight hurries in 175 pass rush snaps. According to Pro Football Focus, Golden had an overall grade of just 60.6, and a pass rush grade of 64.1.
Trading Golden opens the door for rookie outside linebackers Cam Brown and T.J. Brunson to see added snaps at outside linebacker over the second half of the season.
Additionally, second-year outside linebacker Oshane Ximines is eligible to return from injured reserve in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and should inherit the bulk of the snaps Golden leaves behind, which will be valuable playing experience for the youngster.
Golden returns to the Arizona Cardinals, where he spent the first four seasons of his career prior to signing with the Giants ahead of the 2019 season.