The talented free agent could combine with James Conner to give the Arizona Cardinals an impressive two-headed attack at the running back position.
For the past several months, the Arizona Cardinals have shied away from signing blue-chip free agents. In fact, the lack of spending has led many to accuse the front office of "tanking" it in 2023. Luckily for first-year general manager Monti Ossenfort, it's not too late to bring in some talent that could make the Redbirds more interesting to watch during the upcoming season.
James Robinson, a fourth-year running back out of Illinois State University, would be an intriguing addition to the Cards scoring attack. The 24-year-old was cut this past week, just three months after agreeing to a two-year, $8 million contract with the New England Patriots. Would Ossenfort dare to stray from his conservative offseason philosophy, and acquire a higher-profile player like Robinson?
Arizona's current options at the position behind starter James Conner are nothing to write home about. Corey Clement, the club's number-one backup, has just one start on his professional resume. Uninspiring backs like Keaontay Ingram, Ty'Son Williams, and Emari Demercado fill out the remainder of the Cardinals less than impressive depth chart.
James Robinson would instantly provide an upgrade for the Arizona Cardinals running backs room
The 5 foot 9, 220 pound Robinson entered the NFL back in 2020 as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The rookie started 14 games, racking up 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Robinson also flashed pass-catching skills, adding 344 yards and an additional three scores on his 49 receptions for the Jacksonville offense.
Unfortunately, Robinson has been unable to duplicate the success he enjoyed during his first year in the league. In 2021, the Illinois native ran for 767 yards and eight touchdowns for the Jags. Last fall, Robinson totaled 476 yards from scrimmage and five total scores, splitting the 2022 campaign between Jacksonville and the New York Jets.
There's a growing belief that the Cards' new offense will center primarily around the run. Coordinator Drew Petzing watched the Cleveland Browns successfully operate that type of system, with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt toting the rock. If Ossenfort would make the move, a Conner-Robinson combination could potentially perform just as well for "Big Red" in the Arizona desert.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)