Chris Johnson wants to be a Cardinal

Posted by Darren Urban on February 23, 2016 – 8:37 pm

Among the free-agents-to-be for the Cardinals is veteran running back Chris Johnson. Johnson said right after the season he thinks he can fit in a backfield with starter David Johnson. Now, he believes he can make something work with the Cards knowing there probably isn’t going to be any huge contract available.

“I feel like at this point in my career I am not really chasing the money,” Johnson said on Sirius XM NFL radio Tuesday night. “I can’t say I ever really chased the money, but when you’re a young guy in this league, you want to take care of your family and get the highest deal possible. I still want to get the best deal, but at the same time, I want to be somewhere where we have a chance to win. I feel like Arizona is the best place for me right now.”

Johnson had 814 yards rushing in just 11 games (and nine starts) before a knee injury ended his season. Johnson could have played in the Super Bowl if the Cards had made it. What will make this situation interesting is whether a deal with Johnson can get done before the draft, and if the Cards decide to ultimately stay with the same running backs room in 2016. David Johnson is the unquestioned starter going into next season. Andre Ellington is in line to be No. 2 as he goes into the last year of his contract.

As the Cardinals proved this season, though, having three quality backs available usually is needed through a 16-game season.


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29 Responses to “Chris Johnson wants to be a Cardinal”

  1. By Slade Starks on Feb 23, 2016 | Reply

    Chris Johnson showed everyone this past year that he has the ability to change the game himself. For years I admired CJ2k, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to see him in Cardinal red. It was so amazing to see Chris Johnson run as a Cardinal and run like a man with no intention of falling down. With the return of Johnson and a few minor tweaks (at the pass rush spot, and offensive line) the Cardinals will be a serious threat this next year. I was proud of my team this past year, winning the NFC West was so satisfying to see. Especially being able to whoop on Seattle in their own stadium. But I know that a division title is not going to satisfy Bruce Arians or the bird gang this coming year. Go cards!

  2. By Slade Starks on Feb 23, 2016 | Reply

    Love it

  3. By Steven Spencer on Feb 23, 2016 | Reply

    Glad to see he wants to stay a cardinal! He has what it takes and AZ Cards have what he needs, a strong dedicated team filled with excellent athletes and motivation for success! Lets Go Cardinals Superbowl Champs 2016 season! Get it undefeated!

  4. By sbrown on Feb 23, 2016 | Reply

    if a deal can be made that works for both CJ and the Team, then why not ?

  5. By Cassie57 on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    Keep Chris Johnson a Cardinal! -exceptional RB performances-without which the Cards may not have had their level of greatness this year.

  6. By Garth Short on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    I hope that the Cardinals do sign him, because Darren you are correct when you say that we need multiple quality backs. The NFL does stand for Not For Long, when talking about the health of their RB’s.

  7. By shannon robinson on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    I got to listen to the interview and recalled again how humble Chris Johnson is as a man and a football player. He was so respectful with Gil Brandt and they joked about when he set the 40 sprint record at the Combine it was for free. What was most significant to me was Chris’ assessment of how troubling the Jets contract was to him when he wasn’t used properly and could not get it going again as a running back. Those long runs were missing and I think that’s what he lives for. Let’s bring him back!

  8. By irlfannphx on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply


  9. By Big Ken on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    Glad to have him, better evaluate the knee though. Don’t ignore the draft.

  10. By Scott H on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    The feeling is mutual, Chris! I wanted to see you play again before the 2015 season was over, but….we never gave you that chance. So, I welcome you back for 2016.

    I’m not sure where we sit with Ellington but I know I want CJ here this season. Assuming his knee is good to go, that is. If he can give us what he gave us last year, if he can be that productive, he is a GREAT complement to DJ in the offensive backfield. And if needs to carry the load, we already know he is up to it.

    Haven’t been able to say that about Ellington, sorry to say. IF it came down a choice between CJ and Ellington, I take CJ.

  11. By Charley on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    If things contractually can work out an excellent, experienced older back like Johnson is only a plus for the Cards, while some see Andre E as number two, we could conceivably not keep El as David and Chris can handle the job if we Must
    make room there. Having all three would be great. in the draft for RB, only if a trade of significance is made with El. That trade, if possible, could be for, and not in any particular order but some pick that moves us up or gives us two picks in the first or second round for, an edge pass rusher, an outstanding lineman at any position, or a potentially great corner. Notice high up is not any pick for QB. This position is, in my limited opinion, actually the most needed because outstanding QB’s are hard to find. Maybe, but doubtful, QB Stanton might be part of a deal for a player or a pick, then we need someone to back up Palmer immediately. In my mind there is someone who may posses the promise and talent for that position and potentially to replace Palmer in one or two years. This QB may go much later in the draft but I think not as late as some suggest. He is under the radar in some peoples minds. Hopefully the Cards will give some serious looks and interview time with Stephen Rivers. I believe this QB is maybe the best hidden gem in this years go round for the Cards. With our pick position this young man could prove to be, ultimately, one of the best picks MR. Keim ever made. Most of you will be and rightfully so, glad I am not speaking in Keim’s ear but this is how I see things from my couch. I have been a Card’s fan since 1960, I have seen only two games live, heard friends talk about them or listened on the radio as a young kid, and saw them on TV later. That’s now going on 56 years and am hoping to see this franchise become a permanent contender over the next few years. Go Cards!

  12. By D on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    If the price is right, I would bring him back. His experience would be helpful. The Cards have good talent at that RB when you include the practice squad players.

    With free agency such a risky option and very expensive and the fact AZ won 14 games last year- got to the NFC Champ game, Cards should focus on their own players:

    Resign D. Stanton
    Sign T. Jefferson and D.J Swearinger
    Resign. C. Johnson
    Resign J. Powers or R. Johnson

    Free agent get: a swing OT and a long snapper.

    Round 1- K. Dodd OLB (although not sure if he can do well in coverage)
    AZ has plenty of players at this position: M. Golden, Okafor, S. Riddick, K. Martin, Z. Wagenmann…maybe Freeney if he wants to keep playing..

    Round 2–M. Tuerk Center
    Round 3–M. Canady CB or D. Houston-Carson FS
    Round 4– J. Ward or M Ioannidis DL (Rucker’s future replacement)
    Round 5– J. Coker QB

  13. By clssylssy on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    I LOVE IT! We have seen how important our run game is to our success & having a veteran like CJ will be a huge advantage going forward as he brings a toughness and tenacity, in addition to a great skill set. Having great Veterans like Fitz, CJ,Palmer, (hopefully Freeney too) who are driven by passion for the game and a desire for excellence and achievement, rather than the big contract will pay big dividends in keeping us on track and respecting the process. Having Johnson and Johnson will make our run game a dual threat and is a good foundation for building for the future through the draft.
    With our offense taking shape, we need to focus on beefing up our defense so that we have some tough guys up front to take the load off our secondary. The last two years our secondary has been used up by the time we make the playoffs. As good as we’ve been the past few years, we have lacked the toughness and durability have been our Achilles heel.
    Chris and David are two players unafraid to put their face in the fire and give our run game a whole different look from anything we’ve had in the past!

  14. By Andy Kw on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    we want you back too. Fingers crossed

  15. By steve on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    Darren: How surprised would you be if the Cards selected a QB with their first pick at #29? Perhaps Michigan St QB Connor Cook.

  16. By Darren Urban on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Cook

    Depends on what QB might be there. I don’t see Cook as that guy, but I’d never say never.

  17. By All day on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    With CJ and David Johnson now this may be an opportunity to possibly trade Ellington. There’s multiple running back needy teams (Patriots, Cowboys, Lions) that would give us something good in return. I wouldn’t be surprised if we traded him to Dallas because Dallas would overpay. Really keeping my fingers crossed that we could sign one of the top pass rushers this year if they aren’t tagged Wilkerson is the one I want most but at the right price. Alex Mack would be huge too.

  18. By dkerry5242 on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    Re-sign Chris Johnson. If he stays healthy he will rush for over 1000 yards this next season, no doubt.

  19. By Anthony on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    What are the chances Alex Mack may be this years big signing for us? would that be a good signing? I definitely think keeping Chris Johnson will provide quality snaps for our backfield and great mentoring for David and Andre…especially if he wants to stay with us and doesn’t care about the $$.

  20. By Darren Urban on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    Anthony —

    RE: Mack

    I don’t see them paying big money for a FA center.

  21. By Robert on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    For me its been nothing short of frustrating to voice my comments all year specifically about not being tough enough at point of attack. Out high price players need to play better specifically LT and LG whom both got physically beat the end of the season. I also do not like the lack of toughness from our LB’s especially Buecannen..did you see the big O lines go after him towards the end of the year? Hes not physical not is minter. We need much better d to compete with seattle and Carolina. I wish i caould have a conversation with our GM, serioulsy..bcasue everything i said for the most part happened. Also our Rt Massey, i think played his best footabll last half of year and we are going to let him go to free agency and get nothing???!! What am i missing? Finally, we need a more physical center and right guard, in fact i can’t beleive we woin 14 games last year. BTW, been a fan and a loyal one since 1988. So i love the Cards, but it aint going to happen with the team we have

  22. By Dr. G. on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    ChrisJ had a lot to do with how far the Cards got last season. DavidJ cannot carry the entire load obviously, much as a surprise he has become instantly.

    My apologies to Ellington fans – he is a natural scat back that likes to run outside…speed is his primary asset. That is the way he is programmed; then BA wants a guy who can run up the gut, so Ellington tries his heart out, but he is cautious and then played injured…not a good recipe for success. If he is not here when the bell rings, the running game will not suffer.

    Conversely, both Johnsons seem to enjoy running over a Safety and/or hitting the line without hesitation. Taylor can do lots of things – and Kerwynn can get it done when his number is called.

  23. By Dr. G. on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    ??? In the combine interview ??? What the hell kinda funky hat is that Arians? ((his words)) “The Heart and the Brain are the two muscles that are hard to evaluate.”

    Our Biology lesson for today!!

    Reading one of the so-called expert draft guys – the Cards really need a TE…Whaaaaaat..? Later Cards Fans

  24. By Scott H on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply


    Man, you HAD to mention the TE position, didn’t ya? I’ve been trying NOT to think about that. Hey, I was actually happy with the use of the TE’s this year in our offense. Collectively, it had to be the best season our TE’s have had in a long time…yes??? We know Fells can play. Niklas? Who the heck knows? Did HE even play in 2015? If he did, I missed it. And I will LOSE MY DAMN MIND on the first / next person who says he is a great TE, could be as good as any TE in the league. Puh-lease. Gresham? I was hoping we would see a little more of him. He made some plays, though.

    The thing is, it seems like the pattern every year for this team in the off-season is we ( quickly ) sign two FA TE’s, then we draft another one. Meanwhile, we still have 2, 3 others hanging around from the season before. It seems like we put so much effort into a position that hardly gets used, hardly matters in our offense.

    I’m just wondering if it will be the same again this off-season. If nothing else, at least we KNOW we have a bona fide TE in Fells. I’m hoping that will lead to less “traffic” at the TE position this summer. Shouldn’t it???

  25. By CreditCard on Feb 24, 2016 | Reply

    All NFL players have talent. Few NFL players have exceptional talent at their specific positions. Chris Johnson has exceptional talent. He is in the twilight of his career, but continues to have top-end talent, plus game savvy. Being a backup and spelling David Johnson and Andre Ellington keeps those two players fresh throughout the year. An added plus with Chris Johnson, is that defenses have to plan for three quality backs, not an easy task.

    It sounds as if a deal can be reached — hope I materializes between Kiem and CJ.

  26. By Big Ken on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    LMAO @ Dr. G I like heart and brains served with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

  27. By Eazy E on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    CJ2K was actually putting more fear in a defense than a David Johnson although they both had their times!

  28. By Luis on Mar 3, 2016 | Reply

    Resign him! I like Ellington a lot but he’s too injury prone! Watching him get hurt in the first game last season was disappointing.. I’d like to see if we can trade him for a draft pick or something if Chris j gets resigned and then draft dj foster. Dj is a good fit for BA s offense.

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