Ex-Giant Markus Golden plans to ‘come with it’ for Cardinals
The only healthy outside linebacker of the top four on the Giants’ season-opening depth chart will be trying to make life miserable Sunday for Daniel Jones and company.
Markus Golden re-signed a one-year contract in July after leading the Giants with 10 sacks last season. He never found his footing with the new coaching staff and was traded in late October to the Cardinals — who visit MetLife Stadium on Sunday — for a sixth-round draft pick.
“Those guys who played with me know how hard I go and know I’m going to come with it, and I know they are competitive, too,” Golden said. “I’m excited about the game. This is a job, this a business. I got traded. There are some good guys over there and I have a lot of respect for them.”
At the time of the trade, Golden seemed expendable. Since then, Oshane Ximines and Kyler Fackrell joined Lorenzo Carter on injured reserve, leaving rookies Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin and journeyman Jabaal Sheard atop a makeshift depth chart. The irony is Golden probably would’ve turned into a key member of the Giants’ defense if the trade never happened.
“That’s just football,” Golden said. “I never want to be on the field because a guy gets injured. I want to be on the field because I deserve to be on the field. I’m happy I’m a linebacker with the Cardinals right now.”
Golden is averaging 48 snaps per game and has a sack and an interception since the trade. He says he is not feeding the Cardinals offense insider tips on his ex-teammates.
“We’ve got a lot of good coaches and scouts that are doing the hard work and diving into the film,” Golden said. “I’m focusing on the offensive side of the ball — Daniel Jones and the line up front have been playing well the last couple games, and we know it’s going to be a physical game.”
Cardinals rookie Isaiah Simmons drew plenty of scouting attention from the Giants before they drafted left tackle Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 pick this year. Simmons, who was taken No. 8, played fewer than 20 defensive snaps in each of the first seven games as pre-draft fears that he had no set position began to materialize. He has two sacks, an interception and a recently expanding role.
“He’s doing a good job when they use him in blitz packages,” Giants coach Joe Judge said. “There’s obviously a lot of things they are kind of finding homes for him on. You see this guy having more of an impact as we go. He’s a very talented player. There’s no doubt he is going to be a very good player in this league.”
The Giants signed safety Montre Hartage off their practice squad to take the place of Madre Harper, who is headed to injured reserve and will miss at least three games with a knee injury.