David Johnson Reportedly Holding Out of Cardinals Minicamp Amid Contract Talks

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2018

Arizona Cardinals' Sam Bradford (9) hands off to David Johnson (31) during an organized team activity Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

As head coach Steve Wilks continues to try to get the Arizona Cardinals comfortable with his system at mandatory minicamp this week, he will do so without one of his top playmakers.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday running back David Johnson is holding out as he seeks a new contract. The three-year veteran is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is set to make $1.88 million in 2018, per Spotrac.

His mindset has apparently changed since April, when he told reporters he wasn't focused on a new contract.

"No, [it's not weighing on my mind] not at all," Johnson said at the time. "Especially with the injury, I've been so focused on the wrist and getting back. Now with new coaches, new players, new teammates, I'm a lot more focused on that."

After being a third-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft, Johnson quickly showed his versatility could help move the football. He totaled 581 rushing yards, 457 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns as a rookie.

That set the stage for a breakout campaign in his second year, when he piled up 1,239 rushing yards, 80 receptions for 879 yards and 20 total touchdowns. That put him among the NFL's elite running backs and the NFL MVP favorites entering the 2017 season.

However, he suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week 1 last year. The good news is he has already been medically cleared, and he said he's back to "100 percent." 

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Johnson may not have been focused on an extension a couple of months ago, but now that he is expected to put his body on the line, the 26-year-old's looking at the situation from a business perspective. Last season showed him that football can be taken in the blink of an eye. Now, he has to make sure he is set financially before putting himself at more risk.

Schefter notes the sides have been in discussions and are hopeful a deal can be reached before the start of the season. If no deal is agreed upon, Johnson will have to decide how long he is willing to hold out.

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