TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals took out their time machine to bolster their pass rush in the wake of losing Chandler Jones for the season.
Golden was the Cardinals’ second-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Missouri. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Golden had 19 sacks. He had 11.5 in his last two seasons with the Giants, including 1.5 in seven games this season.
Golden will add depth to Arizona’s front seven after Jones underwent season-ending biceps surgery on Oct. 16. Golden will enter the pass-rushing rotation alongside Haason Reddick, Devon Kennard, Dennis Gardeck and Kylie Fitts.
The Giants brought back Golden primarily as a contingency plan this offseason. They were surprised he was available late in free agency, and figured the price was worth bringing back a player who led the team in sacks last season by using the rare May 5 tender.
Golden had been used mostly as a pass-rush specialist through seven weeks. He played just 36.7% of the team’s snaps even though he leads the team with a 16.5% pressure rate and 17 pressures.
Not an ideal fit in the Giants’ scheme under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, Golden still wasn’t playing an extensive role after outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter was lost for the season and LB Oshane Ximines was placed on injured reserve. He played 36.1% of the team’s defensive snaps in Thursday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.