NFL Free Agency

Chris Johnson Reportedly Re-Signs with Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) celebrates an apparent touchdown against the Cleveland Browns but the play was called back due to a penalty during an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. Arizona won 34-20. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press
Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2016

The Arizona Cardinals reportedly have re-signed running back Chris Johnson to a one-year contract, per ESPN's Adam Schefter

Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo confirmed the move.

Johnson's 2015 season with the Arizona Cardinals was cut short because of a fractured tibia. However, he emerged as one of the top options on the market after the likes of Lamar Miller, Doug Martin and Matt Forte signed new contracts. 

The Cardinals weren't the only team interested in Johnson.

On Thursday, the Miami Dolphins announced he had visited with the team. 

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Johnson was expected to decide between the Cardinals and Dolphins, before he ultimately decided to stay put in Arizona.

On Tuesday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source, reported Johnson drew interest from multiple teams.

"They want me back, and I want to be back, but you know how the business side is," Johnson said of the Cardinals on Feb. 23 on SiriusXM NFL Radio (h/t Fox Sports' Alex Marvez). "Everything has got to be right for both parties, but I can't wait for both sides to get started [talking]."

Johnson was signed to a one-year, $870,000 contract by the Cardinals shortly before the 2015 season started, and he blew away expectations after he was thrust into the starting role while Andre Ellington battled a slew of injuries. 

Coming off a 2014 season with the New York Jets that saw Johnson crack the 100-yard rushing mark just once, the veteran running back crossed the century threshold four times in the span of six games during a stretch from Sept. 27 to Nov. 1. 

"He's still got it, I'll tell you that," Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer said on Oct. 27, per the Associated Press' Bob Baum (via FoxSports.com). "That defense notices it. Every defense we've lined up against knows when he's in the backfield and when he's not. Just a great player."

Chris Johnson's 2015 Season
OpponentRush AttemptsRush YdsRush TDRec.Rec. Yds
New Orleans1037000
Chicago2072000
San Francisco221102140
St. Louis16830311
Detroit11103000
Pittsburgh1440015
Baltimore18122100
Cleveland30109000
Seattle2558000
Cincinnati1863012
San Francisco1217000
Source: ESPN.com

Johnson certainly flashed enough throughout the 2015 season to warrant a second look from the reigning NFC West champions, but the Cardinals are currently undergoing a shift in the backfield that could have made the decision complicated. 

While Johnson impressed during his 11-game sample, rookie David Johnson (6'1", 224 lbs) flashed a special blend of power and speed (4.50-second 40-yard dash) while showing off some stellar receiving chops after the former 2,000-yard rusher went down. 

The rookie's brief breakout was highlighted by a 187-yard, three-touchdown effort in the Cardinals' 40-17 romp over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15, and that effort came on the heels of separate 99- and 92-yard rushing days against the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings, respectively. 

But even if David Johnson does have the starting role in his sights, Chris could conceivably return as part of a rotation that still includes the injury-plagued Ellington, who hasn't appeared in a full season's worth of games since entering the league in 2013. 

"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," Johnson said on SiriusXM. "I feel like Arizona is the best place for me right now."

The match is perfect for both sides as Johnson seeks to close out his career in comfortable surroundings.  

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices