And Cardinals reached an agreement in principle on a one-year deal with former Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2013
UPDATE: Wednesday, March 13, at 2:50 p.m. ET by Rob Goldberg
Pro Football Talk reported on Twitter that the deal is worth $2.5 million:
Rashard Mendenhall's one-year deal in Arizona is believed to be worth $2.5 million.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 13, 2013
---End of Update---
Last season with the Steelers, Mendenhall played in only six games, rushing for 182 yards on 51 carries. That comes to a 3.6-yard average per carry. He did add a receiving touchdown.
Despite coming off a down season, Mendenhall does have talent, as evidenced by a 2010 season in which he rushed for 1,273 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Mendenhall battled injuries all year and tore his ACL at the end of last season. He never was able to fully recover and was even deactivated for a few games.
On the Cardinals, Mendenhall should expect to see more carries than he did last season. In Pittsburgh, he was splitting time with Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, which limited his effectiveness, along with the injuries.
A fully healthy Mendenhall can probably regain his old form, but it's clear that the Cardinals are taking a bit of a gamble.
Good signing for the Cards?
If Mendenhall can return to anywhere near his pre-injury form, then it's a home-run signing for Arizona. He gives the Cards the big-play back they've lacked and provides the offense with a dimension it hasn't had at any point in recent memory.
But again, that's only if disregarding the uncertainty surrounding his injuries and declining production doesn't prove costly for Arizona. Fortunately for the Cardinals, they're desperate enough to take the risk.
Mendenhall is a talented running back who was once a first-round pick. If he can play anything like he did in 2010, this will be quite the deal for the Cardinals.