After it was announced Tuesday that veteran edge rusher Markus Golden was visiting the Steelers, fans got antsy. After Tuesday afternoon came and went Steelers fans had started to look past it, as the old tradition seems to be if the guy walks out without a contract signed the day of his visit, he won’t be a Steeler.
But what many Steelers fans didn’t know until Tuesday night was that Golden would be coming in on Wednesday. Flash forward to now, Golden is a Steeler. Pittsburgh adds a 32-year-old that has seen it all in the league, appearing in 111 games between the Cardinals and Giants. Much-needed depth at the edge position now sits in the Steelers locker room.
Pittsburgh Finally Gets Depth On Edges
When TJ Watt got hurt last year in the first week of the season, it opened many Yinzer’s eyes to what life would be like without the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year. Hint, it’s not a fun time. The Steelers got what felt like no pressure on quarterbacks once TJ went down. Alex Highsmith still had a great year and is waiting to be paid, but beyond that, the other edge rushers on the roster gave Pittsburgh next to nothing, getting just one sack from edge rushers not named TJ Watt or Alex Highsmith.
Markus Golden should be an upgrade over Malik Reed, who the Steelers traded for last season and gave up next to nothing. Golden appeared in all 17 games for the Cardinals last year, starting 14 of them. His production might not have been up to his standards, as he finished the year with just 2.5 sacks and 48 combined tackles, but playing all 17 games at 31 years old is impressive in this league, especially considering the wear and tear pass rushers take throughout the season.
Golden has built quite a resume since getting drafted 58th overall by the Cardinals in 2015. Appearing in 111 games and starting 68 of them, Golden has gathered 47 sacks, 62 tackles for loss, 130 QB Hits, 11 forced fumbles, and 323 combines tackles.
Assuming Golden is the last addition, the Steelers edge rushers seem to be in a decent spot. Besides the obvious starters Watt and Highsmith, They brought back Quincy Roche, who they drafted in the sixth round of the 2021 draft before releasing him. Roche spent two years with the Giants before now coming back to Pittsburgh. This year, Pittsburgh drafted Nick Herbig, an edge rusher from Wisconsin. Something that surely makes Steelers fan’s mouths water. In addition to those four guys, they have newcomers Trey Ndukwe and David Perales who hope to make the squad.
Glimmer Of Hope
As he just turned 32 in March, Golden has spent his career on subpar teams while putting together a decent career for himself. One has to imagine winning is something that is heavily on his mind. Just like guys Patrick Peterson and Cam Heyward, as father time is undefeated and the end draws near, these guys need a ring before its all said and done. They all evidententally think it could happen in Pittsburgh.
Even with the offense as young as it is, veteran guys seem to believe in Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In what has felt like a dream offseason for Steelers fans, the message in the building seems to be win now. This feels like a team trying to take advantage of the privilege of not having to pay a quarterback yet. Omar Khan has spent the offseason trying to stack the cupboard for his young quarterback, but at the end of the day, the size of the leap Kenny Pickett takes in year two will decide how far the Steelers go.
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