Extending star runner should be Arizona Cardinals priority
The Arizona Cardinals and David Johnson need to bridge the gap and agree on an extension for the offense’s heart and soul
This call should be an easy one for the Arizona Cardinals. Taking care of the player who is quite simply the heart and soul of your offense should be a no-brainer. So what’s the holdup?
Very few would argue that Cards’ star David Johnson isn’t deserving of a rich contract extension. When healthy, the Northern Iowa University product is arguably the best running back in football. In fact, the numbers that Johnson amassed during his first two years in the league are downright incredible.
Arizona wasn’t entirely sure about what they had back in 2015, when they selected Johnson in the third round of the draft. It didn’t take long for them to find out, however. Johnson tallied 1,038 yards of offense and 13 total touchdowns as a rookie, proof to the front office that they had made a good choice with their pick.
In 2016, Johnson raised his game to an even higher level. The 6’1″, 224 pounder started all 16 contests for the Cardinals that year, racking up 2,118 yards from scrimmage and an ourstanding 20 scores. Johnson proved to be a true dual-threat back, adding 80 pass-receptions to his 1,239 rushing yards.
But then disaster struck during the first week of the 2017 campaign. A wrist injury that occurred against the Detroit Lions cost Johnson the remainder of the season. The 26-year old is now back, and has looked as lethal as ever during the limited preseason action he has seen.
It’s now time for Johnson to get paid. He’s scheduled to make $1.9 million in 2018, a ridiculously low salary for such an important part of the Cards’ game plans. Another excellent runner, Los Angeles Rams’ workhorse Todd Gurley, was signed to a four-year, $60 million extension back in July.
Kudos to Johnson for not holding out while Arizona’s management team and his agent are negotiating a new deal. There are many individuals, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell comes to mind, who would sit at home until they were shown the money. Here’s hoping that Johnson is rewarded for his unselfishness sooner rather than later.