Should the Arizona Cardinals take a risk on this former first-round pick?

He was once a promising young back who turned heads, but has been in a slump as of recent.
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

Most good teams in the NFL have an above average running game which helps establish a good offensive game plan. While the running back position is gone down in value over the past couple of years, the market for running backs has been great this free agency. Many players like Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs have been getting paid by their new respective teams. The Arizona Cardinals already have James Conner as their starter who is coming off a career year from last season. They also brought in DeeJay Dallas in free agency, but he will more than likely be a big contributor on special teams.

Outside of Conner, the Cardinals' run game was not as effective between Michael Carter, Emari Demercado, and Keaontay Ingram. Between these three backs, there was only 691 total rushing yards. With what the Cardinals have not done in free agency when it comes to getting more weapons on offense for Kyler Murray, maybe Monti Ossenfort needs to shift and think about a different view of the game.

Arizona is not a big attractive destination for free agents because of where they currently are in a rebuild. While they have a franchise quarterback, they do not have much else that shows stability. The Cardinals need to address the runnning back spot behind Conner and if they wanted to sign someone who would not cost a lot of money and needs to play on a prove-it deal, they should look at a former first-round pick.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2020 draft, where the Chiefs took him with the 32nd pick. Coming out of LSU, Edwards-Helaire had a lot of upside in both the running and passing game. In his rookie season, Edwards-Helaire rushed for over 800 yards, four touchdowns and added on 297 receiving yards. However, his production has declined the past three seasons due to injury and the arrival of Isaiah Pacheco the last two years.

The Chiefs declined to pick up the fifth-year option of Edwards-Helaire before last season, which means that he is a free agent. With the Cardinals needing to add talent on offense, they would be able to add Edwards-Helaire at a bargain price to take pressure off of Conner, as well as be a pass-catching back for Murray.