Markus Golden’s contract is a bargain for the Cardinals

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Jess Root
·2 min read
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The Arizona Cardinals announced on Monday that they had agreed to terms with outside linebacker Markus Golden on a two-year contract. It was originally reported as a two-year, $9 million deal.

The details of the deal are out and it is incredibly team friendly. The deal is for up to $9 million. It is actually a two-year deal for $5 million.

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle shared the details on social media.

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Golden receives a $1.5 million signing bonus and will earn a fully guaranteed $1 million salary in 2021. His 2022 salary is $2 million. Each year, he will earn up to $250,000 in roster bonuses for the number of games he is active.

He can earn an additional $2 million per year by hitting sack incentives.

He is essentially making backup pass rusher money.

To contrast, Arizona signed Devon Kennard to a three-year, $20 million contract last year after he was released by the Detroit Lions.

This is how his cap hit breaks down:

  • 2021: Up to $2 million ($1 million salary, $750,000 prorated signing bonus hit, up to $250,000 in per-game bonuses); up to $4 million by hitting incentives

  • 2022: Up to $3 million ($2 million salary, $750,000 prorated signing bonus hit, up top $250,000 in per-game bonuses); up to $5 million by hitting incentives

While initially it appeared that Golden’s deal would preclude the Cardinals from re-signing linebacker Haason Reddick, that does not appear to necessarily be the case. If the Cardinals want, they could keep Golden and Kennard or Golden and Reddick (releasing or trading Kennard), based on the money that Golden will make.

It is an absolute steal for the Cardinals to get Golden, who can be a double-digit sack pass rusher, at that sort of deal.

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