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Danielle Hunter’s new contract a precedent for Markus Golden’s potential extension

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Golden is entering the final year of his rookie deal

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Pass rushers are hard to come by in the NFL which is why the Cardinals awarded Chandler Jones with a massive contract last season. Now, another pass rusher in the NFL just got paid the big bucks.

Minnesota VikingsDanielle Hunter was awarded a five-year extension, reported by Ian Rapoport.

The 23-year-old defensive end is entering the final year of his rookie deal and his on-field production is not much different from Markus Golden.

Danielle Hunter: 134 tackles, 25.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles (46 games)

Markus Golden: 93 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles (35 games)

The Cardinals have many big name players with contracts that expire after the 2018 season, such as Deone Bucannon, David Johnson, and Markus Golden. According to OverTheCap, the Cardinals will have the ninth-most cap space in 2019. So, there will be plenty of money to go around.

Unfortunately for Golden, he suffered a torn ACL in week four of last season. Had it not been for his injury, his sack total would have been similar to Hunter’s. There is a big age difference between the two pass rushers, Hunter turning 24 in October and Golden being 27. Other than that, both have been productive pass rushers in their three seasons in the NFL and are entering the final year of their rookie deals.

Golden defied the odds, proving doubters wrong since he was a second-round pick in 2015. He lacks the ideal size (6’3’’, 260lbs) and the arm length (31 1/8 inches) but made up for it with his high motor and play on the field. He flashed as a rookie with four sacks, learning from Dwight Freeney, before having a dominant sophomore season leading the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks in 2016. The four games he played in 2017 wasn’t pretty.

If Golden can replicate any of the success that he had in 2016, he will be in for a huge payday similar to that of Danielle Hunter. The Cardinals will be in talks with him for a contract extension but the size of it will be determinant on his health and production this season. A one-year prove-it deal could be an option. Golden continues to rehab and there is no set timetable on when he will return to the field. He has worked endlessly to get ready for the season despite the setback, which is what I love to see and hear from NFL players.

There are a few things going against Golden that could prevent him from receiving a deal like Hunter’s.

Will his current injury affect future contract talks? What type of contract is he looking for? How much does Steve Keim value him?

But based on production alone, if Hunter can receive a massive contract like that, then so can Golden.

Benson Mayowa will likely start in his place until Golden returns to full health.

Poll

How big of a contract will the Cardinals offer Markus Golden?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Multi-year $10M+ average
    (44 votes)
  • 61%
    Multi-year less than $10M average
    (145 votes)
  • 6%
    One-year deal
    (16 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (4 votes)
  • 11%
    None, Golden leaves for free agency in 2019
    (27 votes)
236 votes total Vote Now