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Cardinals release Markus Golden

Greg Dortch signs exclusive rights tender

New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

With new management and new coaches often leads to big roster changes.

Today the Arizona Cardinals have released outside linebacker Markus Golden, according to The Score’s NFL Insider Jordan Schultz.

One of the more successful draft picks in recent memory for the Cardinals, Golden had an incredible career since being the No. 58 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

He was given the nickname of “Junkyard Dog” in the Bruce Arians era for his tenacity as a pass rusher and for his high motor for going full speed on the football field all the time.

Golden entered the NFL in a great spot as he learned under future Hall of Famer Dwight Freeney his rookie season and his production skyrocketed the following year. He went from having four sacks in 2015 to having 12.5 sacks in his breakout 2016 season.

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dwight Freeney (54) salutes the fans with teammate Markus Golden (44) after his sack in Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz.
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

After his rookie contract expired in 2018, Golden signed with the New York Giants and played there for one and a half seasons prior to his trade back to the desert towards the end of 2020.

Markus Golden posted two double-digit sack seasons in 2016 (12.5) and 2021 (11) in his seven years with the Cardinals. He finishes his Cardinals football career with 35.5 sacks, 218 tackles, 11 forced fumbles, and an interception. He currently has 47 career sacks.

Golden’s release saves the Cardinals $3 million in cap space. The team began the week by releasing wide receiver Robby “Chosen” Anderson, which added $12 million in cap space. Earlier today, they restructured the contract of offensive tackle D.J. Humphries which added another $5 million. According to Over the Cap, the Cardinals should have around $36 million in total cap space right now as they gear up for the start of free agency on March 15.

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

In other news, the Cardinals have tendered wide receiver Greg Dortch to an exclusive rights contract.

Dortch is coming off a breakout year with 52 receptions, 467 receiving yards, and two touchdown receptions. He certainly has come a long way since going undrafted out of Wake Forest University in 2019.

Without question, Dortch was arguably the most-reliable weapon on the Cardinals’ offense this past season and figures to have a more prominent role in Drew Petzing’s offense with rumors spreading of All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins’ potential offseason trade.

Arizona Cardinals v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images