Running back Chris Johnson will remain with the Arizona Cardinals after signing a one-year deal, the team announced. Johnson was the Cardinals' leading rusher last season despite missing the last five games of the regular season with a fractured tibia. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the deal is worth up to $3 million, and Johnson reportedly turned down twice that amount from another team.
Johnson finished the season with 814 yards and three touchdowns on 196 carries. Rookie David Johnson, who took over after Chris Johnson was injured, had 581 yards and eight touchdowns in five starts. The younger Johnson also added 457 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Chris Johnson will likely share the workload with David Johnson this season, which should help keep the 30-year-old fresh.
Johnson's resurgent season came just months after he was shot in a drive-by situation that left the driver of the vehicle he was in dead. Johnson, who was wounded in his left shoulder in the shooting, was ready to return to the field by training camp. After Andre Ellington was injured during the preseason, the Cardinals signed Johnson on Aug. 18, 2015.
According to the team, Johnson's preference was to stay in Arizona, even if that meant finding a way to fit into the backfield with David Johnson.
"Me and David, we're two different type of players," Chris Johnson said. "David, he can go into the five-receiver sets and do a lot of those plays that [Bruce Arians] likes to run. Even before I got hurt, the kind of situation that me and David had - I was doing a lot of the running and he would still come in and do a lot of the running and a lot of the pass plays. I think it's something that could work."
I like to thx all the teams that was involved but I we have unfinished business in AZ let's get that ring— Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson28) March 17, 2016
Chris Johnson visited the Miami Dolphins this week after the Dolphins missed out on C.J. Anderson. Miami had made an offer to Anderson, and the Denver Broncos had the opportunity to match the offer since Anderson was a restricted free agent. The Broncos did opt to match Anderson's offer, retaining him for 2016. The Dolphins are a running back-needy team after losing starter Lamar Miller in free agency to the Houston Texans. After visiting the Dolphins, Johnson opted to remain with the Cardinals.
Johnson is a few years removed from the 2,006 rushing yards he gained in 2009, but he demonstrated last season that he still has plenty to offer. Sharing the workload with David Johnson and Ellington should keep him fresh and healthy enough to contribute to Arizona's ground attack.