Markus Golden was elated when he was traded back to the Cardinals in 2020.
But with a new front office and new coaching staff -- a reality that often leads to roster overhaul -- the Cardinals, despite giving him a training camp extension last year under the old regime, released the veteran linebacker on Friday.
The Cardinals did re-sign wide receiver Greg Dortch, who had been scheduled to become an exclusive rights free agent. Dortch had 52 catches for 467 yards and two touchdowns last season after making only three receptions his first two NFL seasons. He signed his one-year tender offer.
Cutting Golden will save the Cardinals $3.08 million on the cap, according to overthecap.com, while leaving $1.08M in dead money.
After leading the team in sacks with 11 in 2021, Golden missed much of training camp with a toe injury while also looking for a raise and extension. He got a one-year extension late in camp and returned to the field. But in 17 games his production was not the same, finishing with 2½ sacks as the Cardinals tried to use younger edge rushers Myjai Sanders and Cameron Thomas as much as possible.
Golden was a second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2015, leaving as a free agent for the New York Giants in 2019 before being dealt back to the Cardinals in 2020 following the season-ending injury to Chandler Jones.
Dortch was a key part of the offense early last season when DeAndre Hopkins was suspended, but his use varied greatly based on who else was injured and/or available at the time.