Grading the Cardinals six biggest roster acquisitions in 2021

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) J.J. Watt
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) J.J. Watt /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic) James Conner /

James Conner – RB

James Conner was perhaps the most noteworthy free-agent signee in 2021. Having flamed out in Pittsburgh, most expected Conner to be no more than an RB2 for the Cardinals while Chase Edmonds got the nod to be the starting running back.

However, Conner responded with 18 total touchdowns (15 rushing). He also recorded 37 receptions on 39 targets and had 1,127 all-purpose yards. His efforts earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl and there is talk that he will be the team’s RB1 moving forward.

Should Conner Stay?

1,000 percent yes. Conner resurrected his career in the desert. So let’s see what his encore season will look like in 2022.

2021 Grade: A-

While I praised Conner for his efforts, one thing that jumps out is that he did not eclipse the 4.0 yards per carry mark. So I’m going to knock him down a rung for that. Other than his pedestrian YPC, Conner may be the team’s MVP in 2021.

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