Arizona Cardinals: Chris Johnson agrees to 1 year deal
It has been reported that Chris Johnson has passed his physical and will join the Arizona Cardinals on a one year deal.
After being out of work since the end of last season, Chris Johnson finally has a new home with the Arizona Cardinals. It’s uncertain whether the signing is to bolster the running back depth or whether it’s just to light a fire under Andre Ellington or David Johnson.
With the preseason start Andre Ellington had, I don’t think this is a signing based on motivating the current running backs. With Chris Johnson’s availability and his track record, it doesn’t hurt to explore this opportunity. Bruce Arians and Steve Keims are always looking to improve the roster, whether it’s through free agency or trades.
Johnson played with the Jets last season, and had a less than spectacular year, as he finished with 663 rushing yards, 1 touchdown to go along with an impressive average of 4.3 yards per carry. Other than last season, Chris Johnson has run for over 1000 yards each season (and ran for 2006 yards in 2009).
If Chris Johnson is going to make the 53 man roster, one of the current running backs will have to go, and my guess is that it’ll be Robert Hughes. While Andre Ellington is still the top dog, Chris Johnson is a great insurance plan to go along with David Johnson. Don’t expect Johnson to make the team because of who he was in Tennessee, he’ll have to prove himself in these next 3 weeks.
I don’t see this signing fully as a move to motivate Ellington and Johnson. I figure it as more of “wait and see” type of deal. If Chris Johnson pans out and plays better than expected, then he’ll make the team, as simple as that. If Chris Johnson ends up being more like the Chris Johnson he was in New York, then it’s hard to see him making the team.
In the end I think it’s a good move for both sides. Doesn’t hurt the Cardinals to see what Johnson has left, and it gives Johnson an opportunity to show us if he’s still got it.
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