Cardinals looking at Chris Johnson

Posted by Darren Urban on August 11, 2015 – 8:53 am

Monday, Bruce Arians said the Cardinals would look to add a running back. Tuesday morning, ESPN reported that the Cardinals had offered a one-year contract to veteran Chris Johnson and that Johnson is mulling the opportunity. The Cardinals aren’t the only team out there openly looking for a running back; the Texans would like to add one after Arian Foster’s sports hernia surgery. One hitch, reportedly, is that Johnson isn’t sure he would make the team with the Cardinals. To me, it’s a fair concern. If Andre Ellington is healthy, he’s your top guy, and as frustrating as it is not to have third-round draft pick David Johnson at this point — he remains out with a hamstring injury and Arians said he could miss another week – when those guys are healthy, it would get awfully crowded in that backfield.

But this is about putting the best team together (as Arians talked about last week about the business of Lyle Sendlein) and a chance to add a vet who could help makes sense for the Cards right now. Ellington is just now getting back to practice. Johnson provides speed in the backfield, and while he didn’t reach 1,000 yards for the first time in his career last season with the Jets, he still averaged a healthy 4.3 yards a carry. It’s a waiting game now. The Cards make their free agent play. Many times it works, but other times, a player will pass (remember Brett Keisel this time last year? The Cards still ended up with Tommy Kelly.)

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33 Responses to “Cardinals looking at Chris Johnson”

  1. By Marlin on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Good move trying to snatch Johnson …. whether it works or not.

  2. By Crow on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    id be down to have johnson in the backfield hahaha

  3. By D on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    RB’s on the roster not named Ellington, need to step up starting Sat. There should be no excuse why they can’t run the ball, especially going behind the left side of the line. I like the fact that BA is always pushing his players and Keim doesn’t take a week to decide on making a move. Aggressiveness on and off the field wins in this league.

  4. By Travis1042 on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Biggest upside to C. Johnsonm – he has missed just ONE game in his entire career! That is durablity, unlike Ellington.. We shall see..

  5. By sggrange on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Totally unrelated but LOVED the long form story about Carson and Smokey..Great format and insight..Good work Darren

  6. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    sggrange —

    RE: Smokey story

    Much appreciated.

    In case anyone is looking for it:

  7. By gbrim on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Who provides the power running game inside the ‘road graders’ we signed and drafted are designed to block for? Missing link every year for many, many years.

  8. By Bill on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    I would really prefer to go after Ray Tice if we are going to give someone a fresh chance.

  9. By Andy Kw on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Ellington can learn from Chris Johnson . David Johnson can learn from both Ellington and Chris Johnson. Why not??? Chris Johnson shouldn’t have to worry about not making the roster. He will if he stays healthy. But I like Kwrwynn Williams and Stepfan Taylor, who can also play FB if Arian’s lets him , so I see why he’s worried

  10. By clssylssy on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Yikes! Just saw where we’ve lost Bobbie Massie for three games for violating substance abuse policy😡

  11. By Marlin on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Looks like Massie is out now………Sowell or Humphries are up…..or maybe Watford???

  12. By Steve . on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    PFT is reporting that Cards RT Massie facing a 3 game ban for an illegal substance….Humphries your up!

  13. By Eric G on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Great, Massie is out three weeks and “knee deep” may be our starting RT. With the underperforming centers, let’s hope Palmer makes it out of week 3 unscathed.

  14. By BIGAL on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Liked what you listed in previous blog noting the positive potential of a CJ2K acquisition…I also believe it is something of a motivational move…Apparently the
    Cards have made him an offer. I’m seeing now that besides Houston, Dallas is
    going to be entering the market also…been expecting that. My problem is, what
    By gbrim stated “Who provides the power running game inside the ‘road graders’ we signed and drafted are designed to block for?”
    I’m w/u gbrim! So glad you brought it up!
    I mean CJ no 2k since 2009…my problem is, Andre E. & David J. are all out of the same mold of RB! Quick, outside running, outside pass catching types…So what happens if/when all suddenly get healthy? I would like to see an inside pounder! Someone to run up inside that left side! Don’t they make these guys any more? Or is Arians style just not fit that type? Just like no Fullback? I’m not criticizing…but I certainly am curious? With this OL I was sure hoping this season that would change! If CJ plays the bidding wars game…I have no problem bringing in…
    1 Ray Rice- 1/22/87=28.7 yrs old
    2 Ben Tate- 8/21/88=27 in 10 days
    3 Ahmad Bradshaw- 3/19/86=29.5 yrs old
    4 Mikel Leshoure- 8/30/90= only 25.5 yrs old

    CJ2K will be 30 next month = 9/23/85
    Pierre Thomas- 12/18/84 = 31.8 I was surprised to learn that…
    Steven Jackson- 7/22/83 = 32 last month…we should have brought him in 3 years ago!

    As I said, as gbrim said, where’s the inside RB? I honestly like Bradshaw the most
    potential of this group (can do it all, did you see him last year for INDI, b4 he got hurt?) but has been hurt the most…however, if we acquired Bradshaw we would be the 1st pro home team he would play for on Real Grass, & not that concrete fake crap!!! That’s why I want you all to consider Ray Rice? I think he’s learned &
    paid his penitence…he also has to be majorly motivated! Think about it!
    Sorry soo long…Thanks! AL

  15. By BIGAL on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Well now…for all those critics of taking a RT in the 1st Rnd of the draft… maybe
    SK knew what he was doing!

  16. By Bruce on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    What about Pierre Thomas, or Knowshon Moreno? Stephen Jackson. A Moreno or Jackson hammer type back I think would compliment better with Ellington than a CJ2K.

  17. By BIGAL on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    I didn’t include Knowshow for this reason…10/14/14…RB Knowshon Moreno (knee) tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which is the same one he tore in 2011.

  18. By Bruce on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    What about a Stephen Jackson hammer? Cmon, that would be nice.

  19. By Iain on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    I really liked your article about John Brown and Carson Palmer, well done!

    I know this is a little off topic, but what do you think it would take for the Cards to cut ties with Daryl Washington?

  20. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Iain —

    RE: Washington

    Thanks for the props

    As for Washington, until his situation is resolved, I don’t think anything will happen with the team.

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    CJ is exactly the same type of back as Ellington. Speculation is CJ is motivation for AE to get on the field.

    I think David Johnson’s pick was also a knock on AE. Remember, BA said this offense is built around AE last year. Then AE was hurt most, if not all, of the season. DJ was to fill that gap, but he is hamstrung.

    So, CJ is seeing this and wants a guarantee mainly so he isn’t just being used. Makes sense.

    As for big backs, obviously over the course of 3 offseasons, BA has not tried to get one tells me, he doesn’t have a use for them. There is no other conclusion.

    And this big OLine is on the left side. Cooper is known for pulling and getting to second levels. DJ is athletic also. So sure you have some power on the left side of the line to get a push and seal the end, but you also have a guard who can turn the corner and lead a fast back into the second and third levels. Especially when BA speads out teams with the speed of John Brown and JJ Nelson.

  22. By Jim Koch on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    I also thought a Jackson or a Moreno would be a better compliment to Ellington. But CJ2K is only 2 seasons removed from the last of 6 straight 1000 yd seasons. I also LOVE the fact that he never missed a game. As far as him making the team I could the depth chart as follows….. C.Johnson, Ellington, D.Johnson and Hughes. 2 bigger backs combined with 2 smaller backs. If they kept 5 Taylor, Grice and Williams could battle for that final spot. I’m hoping CJ2K comes aboard.

  23. By Jim Koch on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    As far as Massie the worst part of it is that it hurts the depth for 3 weeks, no biggie. Considering he’s in a contract year he might have punched his ticket out of town, especially if Humphries plays well. I’m sure the brass is already sour after the D Wash situation so they might have run out of patience for this sort of thing.

  24. By cards62 on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Sorry Cards Fans but I just do not like this Johnson guy. I lived in Tenn for 20 years and couple of years ago moved to Florida, and Johnson just is not our kind of guy. You guys know he was shot not too long ago right??? I know we offered him a contract so I will hope I am wrong, but I just think he will get into trouble again and not be a team guy. I really use to like S. Jackson, but I think he has taken too many hits and does not want to be hit any longer. A. Peterson would have been nice, but I just do not think Minn. was going to let him go at a reasonable price. I said we should have drafted 2 running backs. Now if I was us I would go for Thomas or Ray Rice. I know what Rice did was horrible, but Baltimore wanted him until the backlash so this tells me he is a good team guy and I never heard of him getting into trouble at Rutgers or in the NFL so I am hoping Johnson turns us down and we sign Thomas or Rice. No perfect choices for us at this time for running back. Everything now at running back is a risk so this is the risk I would take.

    Concerning Bobbie Massie so much for his good start. Read a report that he was busted in Cardinals parking lot behind the wheel during Super Bowl Week buzzed on something. Cardinals had to know this and we needed a tackle or two anyway for the future so I think with Massie info this is why we drafted an offensive tackle in the first round and not the best player available.

    Go Cards and this football season seems like it is going to be a strange one with everything going on with all the teams.

    Darren or any Cardinal Fans – Do you know of any NFL teams that are O line rich that we can trade with? Looks like we are going to need a center and maybe a tackle?

  25. By Eazy E on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    Get him or Rice!!

  26. By Fred on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    With massie out 3 week hope someone steps up at RG the card had to know this was coming . if the RB don’t want to step up then its best to go out and find one that will. Hope it all comes together before the start of the season.

  27. By Big Ken on Aug 11, 2015 | Reply

    CJ? At first I thought why not the Patriots signed Ryan Lindley. But Johnson is the perfect Steve Kiem signing. A veteran player looking for one last payday/contract. Enough left to make a contribution, durable. Give him a two or three year deal to flatten out his numbers, signing bonus, ect.

  28. By Eazy E on Aug 12, 2015 | Reply

    CJ2K in Red and Black and White…

  29. By Marcelof on Aug 12, 2015 | Reply

    Having CJ, AE and DJ on the backfield you scare the hell out of any defense coordinator. Ok you won’t have an insider RB but if you were a DC, what would you do? protect the nest or load the secondary and cover as much as you can?
    They are amazing treats running and catching. Cards didn’t have a good running game last season due to other problems.

    Having a couple of talented RB would bring wonders to BA’s hands.

    I see lots of benefits of bringing CJ in.

  30. By dkerry5242 on Aug 12, 2015 | Reply

    Sign Johnson, you cannot have enough quality running backs. You know they will never stay healthy for a full season anyway.

  31. By Scott H on Aug 16, 2015 | Reply

    CHRIS Johnson is not the Johnson I was hoping for ( ’cause I would much rather be seeing a whole lot of DAVID Johnson right now ), but….whatever. We could do a lot worse ( just look at the last month of last season ) and I believe CJ does have more than a little left in the tank ( unlike Steven Jackson, who I believe is definitely on empty ).

    But if I may look ahead for just a moment….there is a guy named Alfred Morris playing for the Redskins right now who will be a FA after this year. I would LOVE to have this guy in Arizona. He has been completely under-utilized by the Redskins for the last 2 seasons and is sorely in need of a team where he can be the workhorse. And I really don’t think it’s a case where the Redskins know something we don’t. It is no coincidence that RG3’s rookie season ( the last time he looked any good, by the way ) was also Morris’ best season and Morris was a BEAST that year. It worked because the offense ran through MORRIS and it allowed RG3 to make the big plays when they were there. Ever since, the Redskins have been totally stuck in idiot-mode. They decided the offense should run through RG3 ( which has been a total failure ), they use Morris as a decoy entirely too often, and they became entirely too enamored with a guy named Roy Helu ( who is NOWHERE near the player Morris is ).

    All of this is exactly what ran RG3 into the ground ( he hasn’t been right since ) and what led to Shanahan being fired. But it has also resulted in Morris having far fewer miles on the odometer than he should have. This guy is an absolute STEAL. He is VEREY capable of being a workhorse back, he has NOT been prone to injuries ( yeah, hard to imagine for Cardinals fans ), and he is by all accounts just a nice guy who wants the ball on every play, yet doesn’t make a peep when he doesn’t get it. What’s not to like???

    He is entering his prime, has low miles, and is just what this team needs. He is THE free agent to put on your list for next season, if he becomes available.

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