After a career year with the Arizona Cardinals in 2021, will running back James Conner return to the desert for the 2022 season or will he sign elsewhere?
When James Conner signed with the Arizona Cardinals last year, it was hard to determine what was going to be expected of the former Pittsburgh Steelers running back.
Most assumed Conner would split snaps in the Cardinals backfield with fellow running back Chase Edmonds during the 2021 season, and that is pretty much what happened when both were healthy enough to play at the same time last year.
Of the Arizona two running backs, However, Conner is the one who certainly had the more productive season. In 15 games, he racked up a total of 1,127 yards (752 rushing and 375 receiving) and 18 touchdowns.
Conner has already revealed that he would like to return to the Cardinals for the 2022 campaign, but he knows that nothing is a guarantee once free agency begins in March. So if he doesn’t end up re-signing with Arizona this year, who are some other teams from around the NFL that could add the veteran running back to their roster?
Team No. 1
Doug Pederson is the new head coach for the Jaguars and he’s inheriting a rushing offense that finished the 2021 season ranked 25th in the league in expected points added.
During his previous head-coaching stint with the Philadelphia Eagles, Pederson led offenses that featured a number of physical running backs like LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi. So Conner’s physical running style could fit in very nicely with the type of offense that Pederson wants to run in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars are currently projected to have almost $60 million in cap space when free agency begins in March. So if Jacksonville wants to add Conner, it’s probably going to be hard for other teams to outbid their offer to the running back.