David Johnson on Sports Illustrated cover

Posted by Darren Urban on August 29, 2017 – 7:42 am

When you become one of the best players in the NFL, people notice. And David Johnson has certainly become that. It’s not often a Cardinal is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Johnson made the cut this year, however, in a funky Gulliver-meets-Lilliputians kind of way for the magazine’s 2017 NFL preview. The issue features a big story on Johnson as well. (To be fair, there are regional covers, as SI has been doing over the past many years. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and J.J. Watt are the other cover boys.)

In recent years, it’s been mostly Larry Fitzgerald who has been the SI cover boy, including on the preview issue last year when the Cards were a sexy Super Bowl pick. John Brown made it back in 2014 too. But this year it is Johnson, the man who could challenge for 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. Certainly, he’s the engine on which the Cards’ offense will run.

“It’s pretty cool,” Johnson said. “I think it turned out really nice. We knew they were going to do a story. I did not know if I was going to be on the cover or not. They said I had a good chance. Once I saw it, it was amazing. It’s an amazing feeling.

“I hope to get a copy real soon.”

Teammate Chris Johnson, who himself got an SI cover once upon a time, said it’s a dream to get an SI cover. “I definitely like his, all the players falling off him,” Chris Johnson said.

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48 Responses to “David Johnson on Sports Illustrated cover”

  1. By Scott H on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    Man, that is SO DAMN COOL!!!! I’m hitting the news stand on the way home today.

  2. By dobie on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    Now he becomes a target good luck young man

  3. By D on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    At of cuts and trades going down, wonder if Mr. Keim will get in on the trade action.

  4. By Darren Urban on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Trades

    Keim will discuss them at least. Check out my 90-to-53 story coming later today.

    EDIT: And click here for the link.

  5. By D on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks Darren, your the Man.

    I think since the Browns are in the dealing market, I would give them a call on one OL player, John Greco, G. He would be an example of a Keim move.
    The Browns signed high priced free agent Zeitler this offseason at G and JC Tretter at Center, so he is now a backup. Greco is 32 years old and is in the last year of his deal for a little more than $3mil. Per PFF, •Greco ranked 20th out of 72 qualified guards in 2016 with an 81.5 overall grade last season with a 96.1 pass blocking efficiency rating. If Iupati’s injury is worse than we know, I would look at improving the interior OL for 2017 which I believe Mr. Greco would be an upgrade over AZ’s existing backups.

    I would also look at DE players too that are available, will be available this week or could be traded for. This defense could be special in 2017 if they can acquire another proven DL to offset the loss of CC…(who probably is wishing he took that Denver offer). AZ secondary appears to be solid now with Bethel healthy and improved.

  6. By JTDG on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply


    Saw PP says he is getting his arm ready after the Mathew Stafford contract. I also see him in the QB bucket challenge.

    Is Peterson a frustrated QB and will BA ever throw him in on a trick play to throw a pass ?

  7. By Darren Urban on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Peterson

    He’s thrown one before for B.A. back in 2013. Peterson would do something like that in a heartbeat. But I wouldn’t call him frustrated — unless you’re talking about wanting that QB money.

  8. By AndyM on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    David Johnson? Man, he’s overrated. What does he have–like 30 yards the whole preseason? Cardinals out to trade him for a fifth quarterback or another punter. Seriously, how many decades has it been since the Cardinals had an elite RB entering his prime? Enjoy, enjoy.

  9. By JTDG on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply


    The only issue is, Greco has been very valuable to the Browns as a back up and Bitonio has shown the last two years, he can not remain healthy. Zeitler also will miss a game here or there.

    I get why you would want him, but I would keep him if I am the browns.

  10. By JTDG on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply


    Since Keim said he is pretty much done with the cuts (maybe a player or two still undecided), is there a player you think will be cut that might surprise the fans ?

    Or do you think this year is pretty easy.

    My thought, Ellington could be the surprise, but many are thinking that. CJ would be a shocker to me. Jarvis Jones would be a surprise, but I think Cap Capi has played well.

  11. By Darren Urban on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Cuts

    I don’t think there will be many surprises. I will post my 53 guess right after the Denver game. I agree, Chris Johnson would be the one. But I just don’t see that. Jones has been absent, so that wouldn’t be a surprise to me either. That last OLB spot might be someone not on the roster right now.

  12. By D on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    Finding a released/free agent OLB that would want to come here to backup will be difficult. No way A. Brooks would come here because of limited playing time, that is why I believe C. Capi will be the 4th OLB. J. Jones will get released.

    I’ll stick with my original trade request for Mr. Keim and go after S. Richardson from the Jets. (4th round pick) Yes he won’t take a pay cut and will cost you $8mil, but he can be a difference maker on the DL. With Rucker in that room, I would feel confident he would stay in line for one year. He can play every position along the Line and will be playing for a new contract. The Jets are selling everything.

    DL: Nkemdiche, Mauro, Rucker, Peters, Olsen, Williams, Gunter and Richardson.
    Yes I know that is 8 in total, but Olsen and Williams may need more time to learn.

  13. By Darren Urban on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    D —

    RE: DL

    Olsen Pierre is going to be in the rotation.

  14. By mark on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    I don’t like when they call him the humble Rumble he needs something better I’ma start calling him King David

  15. By Scott H on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Dude….you hear that the Browns are shopping Joe Haden?? Could it be??

  16. By georgiebird on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    SI cover. What a bad spot for DJ. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. By georgiebird on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    Carp is back a bit
    Playing 3rd and hitting 1st.

  18. By Richard S on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    I discovered he regional cover thing years ago when my sister told me to check out the cover and she lived in the Midwest and I lived in California. The covers didn’t match. I guess if there is a cover jinx, it’ll be split 4 ways instead of David taking the brunt of it. It looks like the Bronco game will be delayed on NFL Network Friday evening. Other than that when you’re not in area, you just have to follow it live online at SI and ESPN but that is sometimes perplexing when there is a long time between reported plays. High pressure system pushing Arizona weather into California. I think I saw on the weather yesterday a high of 116 in Fairfield. I can’t imagine that as I used to live there and we had the Suisun (West Wind) from the Bay cooling us down.

  19. By Randy J Caudill on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    David doesn’t need anything but the ball in game 1 and people will see greatness again. Will be best RB Cardinals have ever had when all is said and done. Hell of an athlete but even more special in how he respects and plays the game. GoBigRed is legit and rest of NFL better be on watch. If Carson figures how to play in the big game this year, playoffs here we come.

  20. By creditcard on Aug 29, 2017 | Reply

    The Jets appear to be shopping Matt Forte. My opinion, trade Chris Johnson and A Ellington to the Jets for Forte and have the Jets absorb some of Forte’s salary.

    Forte is on his downward side of his career, but he is ‘like’ David Johnson in football skills, good ball carrier, catches and blocks well, and durable. The Cards would have K Williams and TJ Login for that change in speed type guy (Login available at mid season).

    Above is another idea of getting S Richardson from the Jets — oh boy that would be great as well.

  21. By Scott H on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Darren – do you know when the NFL Preview issue is actually coming out? Went to Barnes & Noble last night and did not see it, only saw the SI Fantasy issue.

    I hate this regional cover stuff. Being out here on the east coast, I’m pretty sure I’m only gonna see Brady, or maybe Rodgers.

  22. By Darren Urban on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: SI

    I do not.

  23. By Scott H on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Up-date on Haden – he’s been released! Per what I’ve heard, several teams are already expressing interest but the Cardinals do NOT appear to be among them.

    A 28-year old CB who has been a Pro Bowl player as recently as 2014. Why there would be no interest from a team that has questionable depth at CB ( putting it VERY kindly ), I have little understanding of.

    But this is a very recent headline, so….maybe there will be interest??

    I figured you’d be all over this!

  24. By JTDG on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Oh Lord, let it be. Pro Bowl CB Joe Haden released by Browns.

  25. By clssylssy on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Just heard Steelers are leading in teams interested in signing Joe Haden…of course they are!

  26. By erik on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    According to Gambo, the Cards have no interest in Haden.

    Why bother acquiring superior talent to make the team better, am I right?

  27. By Darren Urban on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Erik —

    RE: “Superior talent”

  28. By D on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Go get Punter Andy Lee.

  29. By JTDG on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply


    Funny, the Steelers are the leading team you say. Don’t they play the browns twice a year and probably know Haden better than most teams?

    So a team who knows him inside and out wants him but Pro Football Focus is knocking him. Hmmm, who do you think is right?

    As for injuries, that was the knock on Alex Mack in 2016, as he missed most of 2015. Yet, the probowl center helped the Falcons to the superbowl.

    Pro bowl safety Tashaun Gibson couldn’t play 16 games for the browns after turning in 11 starts and 13 starts in 2014 and 15, yet he played all 16 games for the Jags in 2016.

    So, do I think pro bowl CB will regain his status as one of the best CBs he had in 2013 and 2014, while staying healthy? Well, it doesn’t matter what I think, what does the cowboys, steelers, saint and colts say as they are trying to land the CB.

    Just remember, in two months, when Bethel either can’t do the job or gets hurt again, it will be too late to find a Joe Haden.

  30. By JTDG on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    One more thing, Joe Haden over the years would match up with Antonio Brown.

    I am sure the Steelers would know his value and even ask Brown what he thought of Haden.

    According to ESPN, the steelers have emerged the front runners. What does that tell you about Joe Haden?

  31. By erik on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Thank you for the link, Darren. I guess it was a slightly knee jerk reaction on my part. I had heard about the injuries to Haden, and that that was the reason for the drop in play. That has happened to players we love here (Ty Mathieu) and we have no problem expecting them to bounce back. Haden is only 28, so I figure this is a risk vs. reward situation. The Cardinals have plenty of cap space to sign a couple guys on one year deals, even at higher prices. Next year, that money is off the books. I just don’t see the point in holding onto that money this season.

    And you are right to question the superior talent statement. Maybe he is no longer superior. On the other hand, I know how good Bethel and B. Williams are and I don’t think they are good enough to be fighting for the #2 CB spot on a team we all hope can contend for a Super Bowl.

  32. By Darren Urban on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Erik —

    RE: Haden

    And that’s a fair point.

  33. By Cody on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply


    I’m a sport management major at Southern CT State University. I have to interview a person in the field I hope to work in someday for a term paper this semester. Do you have know of any way I could contact Steve Keim and maybe score (all pun intended) an interview via e-mail? I would love to ask a couple of questions and pick his brain a little bit, though I know his time is of the essence.

    In fact, if this attempt goes wide right (again, all pun intended) I would love to interview any member of the Cardinals front office/administration/organization.

    Thanks for your time!

  34. By Darren Urban on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Cody —

    RE: Interviews

    You would need to reach out to the media relations department. E-mail me at and I can give you info.

  35. By clssylssy on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Don’t know what to tell you but that is what I read (Saints also in contention). It seems that there is a lot of “aggressive” shopping/trading begun already, and the Chiefs just got 2015 1st Rounder, O-lineman Cam Erving from the Browns also. Actually, looking at the track record of both the Steelers and the Chiefs, I put my money on those Organization above PFF as they know what they have in mind for players and don’t usually make these kinds of moves without a plan. I guess, if anything, my point would be that the Cards never seem to be in the conversations when these opportunities present which may be why these teams are in the forefront of the contenders when playoffs roll around, and we are not. After watching preseason games, my guess is that these teams have an abundance of talent and are looking to get younger but are releasing these players so they can possibly be signed before the market becomes flooded on the 2nd.
    I do think that a lot of teams have gotten a lot better (Saints being another in the NFC) and this is going to be a much more competitive season for football.

  36. By Darren Urban on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Never seem to be in the conversations

    I don’t recall that being said when the team signed John Abraham or Antonio Cromartie or Dansby or Dwight Freeney.

  37. By Cody on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply


    I emailed you. Thanks for your time!

  38. By clssylssy on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    i stand corrected and you are right, but how many years ago was that? My bad, I should have specified that , “lately” (when Keim talks about being aggressive, we don’t seem to be in the conversation.
    I was happy with all of those guys…what’s happened?
    Also, see that despite all the negatives you put forth in your piece, the Steelers did give Hadena three year contract for $27M–not to shabby for a has been but, I guess, players do have an “off” year from time to time. So, guess only time will tell.

  39. By Scott H on Aug 30, 2017 | Reply

    ITDG –

    Yes, THAT has been my concern all along. That when we reach the point where it truly becomes clear that neither Bethel or Williams can effectively play the CB position ( or Bethel is hurt again ), what are we going to do then??? Just pick up one of the many starting caliber CB’s that are sitting home on their couches, waiting for the phone to ring? Yeah….simple, right?

    THAT is the gamble that we are taking with Justin Bethel. And it’s huge.

    Haden was the opportunity I was dreaming about….but didn’t figure was gonna happen. Then, there it was. WAS. Because it ain’t any more.

    28 year old Joe Haden or 36 year old Tramon Williams…..who do ya think is gonna end up better off in this one – Steelers or Cardinals? C’mon, man. Not even close.

    Aren’t we about $11 million under the cap right now? And a CB of Joe Haden’s caliber wasn’t worth the money?

  40. By Arnold Whipplr on Sep 4, 2017 | Reply

    I went to pick up the David Johnson cover magazine but couldn’t find it at the newsand. I live in Iowa.How can I get an issue?

  41. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2017 | Reply

    Arnold —

    RE: David Johnson SI

    That’s a question for Sports Illustrated.

  42. By Scott H on Sep 5, 2017 | Reply

    RE: The SI David Johnson cover

    Good luck trying to find it. I tapped a friend of mine in Denver to see if he could get the DJ cover for me. Sure enough, all he is finding is the JJ Watt cover.

    OK. Help me out…..since when is Denver closer to Houston, Texas than to Phoenix, Arizona??

    I swear, it wouldn’t surprise me if people had trouble finding the DJ cover in the Phoenix area.

  43. By William Barry on Sep 5, 2017 | Reply

    Hi, Darren, I subscribe to Sports Illustrated, however the cover had the Patriots, not David Johnson. Is this because the magazine sends out different covers to subscribers who live in different regions???????

    William Barry,

  44. By Darren Urban on Sep 5, 2017 | Reply

    William —

    RE: Sports Illustrated

    That is correct. There were regional covers.

  45. By Steve Snider on Sep 12, 2017 | Reply

    Boy what a jinx being in the cover of SI. Poor guy is now done for the season

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