After begging for attention from the DeMarco Murray-less Dallas Cowboys, Chris Johnson earned his first offer of the offseason from the Arizona Cardinals, who are need of running back depth with rookie David Johnson out with a Grade 2 hamstring injury, as per the always plugged-in Mike Jurecki.
The Cardinals have offered running back Chris Johnson a one-year contract, according to ESPN’s Dianna Marie Russini, though it’s unclear if Johnson will accept. The former first-round pick spent the majority of his career with the Tennessee Titans. He’s still productive, but he just isn’t as effective as he used to be.
If Johnson were to return to his pre-Jets level – which included a 2,000-yard season in 2009 – he’d make Arians’ job easier in 2015: He’d be the feature back, no questions asked. Troy Niklas (hamstring) and Jermaine Gresham (back) are doing individual drills in practice but not yet participating in 11-on-11 work, and a healthy Fells has staked his claim as one of the starting tight ends. Johnson could be looking around a little bit more to see if any other offers are on the table, but the Cardinals are likely to be his best option.
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It’s no guarantee he’ll sign (as last week’s Pierre Thomas snafu showed), but the fact the Cardinals are interested says something about their spot. He was a cap casualty after the 2013 season. Johnson was hoping that some team with an injury during training camp would turn to him, but his opportunity is coming even sooner than he expected.
Having Johnson on the roster could be a major benefit for Ellington.
Incumbent starter Andre Ellington was ineffective last season due to injuries and already is hobbled. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 31-14.
Profootballtalk.com ran a piece on Monday that talked about the possibility of adding a veteran running back because of the disappointment that coach Bruce Arians and the team has in the position early on in camp.