James Conner Rumors: Former Steelers RB Visiting with Cardinals in Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 12, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) takes a handoff from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and scores on a one-yard run during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
AP Photo/Don Wright

Free-agent running back James Conner is visiting the Arizona Cardinals Monday, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

Conner has been the starting running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the past three seasons when healthy. He has appeared in 36 games in this stretch, totaling 2,158 rushing yards with 963 receiving yards and 26 total touchdowns.

The 25-year-old finished last season with 936 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 13 games, rushing for 4.3 yards per carry.

The 2017 third-round draft pick was especially impressive during his second season after taking over for Le'Veon Bell, finishing the 2018 campaign with 1,470 total yards and 13 touchdowns on his way to his first Pro Bowl selection.

Conner saw a reduced role in 2020 as Benny Snell saw more carries while the Steelers stuck with a pass-heavy attack. The starter also missed two weeks because of COVID-19 protocols.

He remains a proven runner with relatively fresh legs after totaling just 532 career rushing attempts across four seasons in the NFL.

The Cardinals are clearly on the hunt for running back help after starter Kenyan Drake left for the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.

Chase Edmonds returns after a breakout 2020 season, but no other running back currently under contract has a single rushing attempt in the NFL.

Arizona could have an exciting offense in 2021 led by quarterback Kyler Murray and a group of receivers that includes DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and Christian Kirk, but there are questions about the rushing attack. A reliable option like Conner could provide much-needed depth at a key position going into next season.


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