EDGE Markus Golden name Jacksonville Jaguars potential free agent target

Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Markus Golden (44).
Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Markus Golden (44). / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have hosted several edge rush prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, so it seems like they want to give their pass rush a boost. If the team's decision-makers aren't fully sold on the players they've met, David Kenyon of Bleacher Report suggests they pursue former Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Markus Golden, who's still looking for a new team.

Kenyon put together a list of one free agent that can help each NFL club and thinks that Golden would be a solid addition to the Jacksonville front seven. He points out that Golden needs to rebuild his stock following a down season and the Jags need to make upgrades to their pass-rush rotation, so they could help each other.

"If the Jags are unable to re-sign Dawuane Smoot as hoped, they should quickly turn to Markus Golden. The edge-rusher probably needs to rebuild his value following a season in which he mustered 2.5 sacks in nearly 800 snaps. Jacksonville ranked fourth in pressure rate in 2022 but tied for 24th in sacks last season. "

A second-round pick 2014, Golden has mostly played with the Cards but signed with the New York Giants in 2020 before returning to Arizona the following season. The former MIssou Tiger has posted three 10-sack seasons in his NFL career. While it's true that he tallied just 3.5 sacks last year, he also recorded 44 total pressures.

The Jaguars have a bookend pass-rush tandem in Travon Walker and Josh Allen but their rotation could use a boost. Defensive end Arden Key crossed enemy lines in free agency and joined the Tennessee Titans. Dawuane Smoot was a key role player last year but he's currently recovering from a torn Achilles and his future with the team is uncertain.

Other outside linebackers on the Jaguars' roster include former first-round pick K'Lavon Chaisson, Jordan Smith, and De'Shaan Nixon but none of them have done enough to see an uptick in playing time next season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars could consider Markus Golden after the 2023 NFL Draft

The Jaguars have a bit of cap space, so they could fit Markus Golden in the budget if his contract demands aren't excessive. He inked a one-year deal worth up to $6.5 million with Arizona last September, so there's a chance he will again wait until the right opportunity presents itself.

The Jaguars could end up bringing Smoot back but if they don't, Golden would be a solid fallback. Also, general manager Trent Baalke needs to wait and see how the draft unfolds. Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy is a prospect worth keeping an eye on in the first round but there are other edge rushers on the team's radar, so they could end up investing one or even two picks in the position.

Pass rush is one of the Jacksonville Jaguars' top roster needs, one they can easily address in the draft. But if things don't turn out the way they wanted though, they could always get in touch with Golden, who could be a solid depth piece.

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