Cardinals could look to sign a replacement for Chase Edmonds

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Darrel Williams
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Darrel Williams /

The loss of Chase Edmonds could prompt the Arizona Cardinals to sign a running back who can complement starter James Conner.

The first day of the NFL’s “legal tampering” period had barely gotten underway last week when the Arizona Cardinals lost a valued member of their roster.

Chase Edmonds, a running back who had given the Cards four solid seasons, was lured away by the Miami Dolphins. The 25-year-old ball-carrier and James Conner were both unrestricted free agents, a predicament that forced the club to make an extremely difficult decision.

As we all know, Arizona’s front office chose Conner over Edmonds. It was kind of a no-brainer when you consider the fact that the former Pittsburgh Steelers draft pick was fresh off of an 18-touchdown campaign for the Redbirds. Edmonds will certainly be missed, but not many fans would find fault with general manager Steve Keim for making Conner the priority.

Arizona Cardinals could sign a free agent to fill out their running back room

Conner and Edmonds combined to give the Cardinals offense an impressive one-two punch at the running back position in 2021. Retaining both players was not financially feasible, but the Cards do have a couple of in-house candidates who could compete for Edmonds’ job.

Eno Benjamin, a seventh-round selection of the organization back in 2020, tallied 160 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown for the squad last fall. Jonathan Ward is an undrafted youngster out of Central Michigan University who has just 78 yards from scrimmage and one score on his NFL resume.

There are quite a few options on the free-agent market as well. Ball-carriers that have contributed more at the professional level than either Benjamin or Ward has.

Veterans such as Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon, and Sony Michel would be excellent additions. Unfortunately, there’s a very good chance that all three of those individuals will be out of Arizona’s price range. There are others, however, who may be more affordable.

Darrel Williams amassed 1,010 yards from scrimmage and tallied eight total touchdowns for the Kansas City Chiefs last fall. Devontae Booker accumulated 861 total yards and three scores in 16 games for the New York Giants. Devonta Freeman tallied 766 yards and six touchdowns in 16 appearances for the Baltimore Ravens.

It would’ve been fantastic if the Cardinals could’ve found a way to keep Edmonds on board. That didn’t happen, of course, so finding a replacement should certainly be a task on Keim’s 2022 to-do list.

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