New York Giants Markus Golden
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Markus Golden era in East Rutherford is officially over. The New York Giants have reportedly sent the edge rusher to Arizona.

Markus Golden is returning to where his NFL career commenced.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the New York Giants have traded the edge rusher to the Arizona Cardinals. Golden began his career in Arizona when the Cardinals selected him in the second round of the 2015 draft.

The Giants have reportedly received a 2021 sixth-round pick in return.

Golden signed a one-year deal with the Giants prior to the 2019 campaign, a season in which he led the team with 10 sacks and was by far Big Blue’s top pass rusher. He tested the waters in free agency, but after the Giants placed the rare unrestricted free agent tender on him, Golden remained in East Rutherford on a cheap one-year deal for 2020.

The veteran couldn’t find a consistent role within Patrick Graham’s defense though. He was seemingly the team’s best pass rusher entering the year but played sparingly for the majority of the first seven weeks. It seemed the coaching staff favored guys like Kyler Fackrell and Lorenzo Carter more, at least prior to the latter’s Achilles rupture in Week 5.

Golden racked up just 1.5 sacks and six quarterback hits through seven games.

Now, the Giants are tremendously short on pass rushers. Golden is gone, Carter is on season-ending injured reserve, and it’s still unclear when Oshane Ximines (shoulder) will return to the field. At this moment in time, Fackrell is by far the team’s top guy in regard to that position group.

And the return? Well, the Giants likely could’ve received more than just a sixth-round pick, considering what Golden was able to do on the field last year as well as in the recent loss to Dallas, a game in which he was on the field for 86% of the team’s defensive snaps.

Maybe multiple picks? A fifth-rounder instead of a sixth-rounder? These are all ideas to ponder over, as this could be another move that Dave Gettleman is criticized for when it’s all said and done.

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