Markus Golden’s mindset hasn’t changed with Chandler Jones gone

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Chandler Jones‘ departure for the Raiders as a free agent has led to a lot of discussion about the Cardinals’ pass rushing plans for the 2022 season, but it’s not like the cupboard became bare the moment he left town.

The Cardinals have their leading sacker from last season back, after all. Markus Golden‘s 11 sacks were a half-sack more than Jones picked up after a five-sack start to last season and Golden has been a reliable producer off the edge for a number of years.

That would explain why Golden doesn’t see things any differently for him even though others view him as being bumped up to the team’s top pass rushing spot.

“Even when Chandler was here, I’m the No. 1 guy to me,” Golden said, via the team’s website. “That’s why I’m able to perform at a high level no matter who I am playing with. I respect him and learned a lot from Chandler. I can seriously say he helped me become the player I am today. But whether I am playing with Chandler or anyone else, I feel like I’m a No. 1. You’ve got to have that mindset.”

The Cardinals will be happy if Golden lives up to that billing because the rest of their pass rush group is long on potential and short on established production at the professional level. Continued success for Golden would buy time for the rest of the group to fall into line as the year plays out.

Markus Golden’s mindset hasn’t changed with Chandler Jones gone originally appeared on Pro Football Talk