Former Arizona Cardinals S Rashad Johnson now a Titan
By Scott Allen
Rashad Johnson was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2009
It was only a matter of time. Although safety Rashad Johnson wanted to remain with the Arizona Cardinals for life, the feeling was not mutual. The seven-year safety out of Alabama signed with the Tennessee Titans on Friday.
The one-year deal that the Titans offered was more than anything the Cardinals offered. In the end, the Cardinals never offered Johnson anything.
It really shouldn’t come as a shock though. Right after the season ended in the NFC Championship Game in Carolina, coach Bruce Arians pretty much sealed Johnson’s fate. While not directly singling Johnson out in his comments the week after the game, you could tell he was not happy with Johnson’s performance in the playoffs.
Arians said at the time that he wanted taller and faster players at the position. At 30 years old, speculation was the Cardinals wouldn’t bring Johnson back in order to achieve getting faster, taller, and younger as well.
This doesn’t mean Johnson won’t be missed. He had some really good seasons in Arizona. He lead the Cardinals in interceptions with five in 2015. He had four in 2014. Overall he had 15 interceptions, three returned for touchdowns in his seven seasons.
What doesn’t show up in those numbers though are the times he got beat, many times because of his height and speed. Don’t get me wrong, Johnson was still a playmaker but in the end the Cardinals wanted more.
Johnson will be replaced by Tyvon Branch, a safety signed in free agency from the Kansas City Chiefs. There is your faster version of Johnson.
Johnson was also well liked in Arizona though, by his teammates, by media, and by his fans. Comments made today on Twitter reflect that.
Indeed he will be missed. In the end though, remember this is a business and the Cardinals made a business decision to move on. Johnson will continue to be a beast in the AFC with Tennessee. Will the move pay off in 2016? We shall see on both ends.