RB Chris Johnson staying in Arizona

ByJosh Weinfuss ESPN logo
Thursday, March 17, 2016

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals agreed to terms on a one-year deal with running back Chris Johnson on Thursday, keeping their Johnson & Johnson backfield intact for another season.

Johnson had recently visited the Miami Dolphins but left without a contract.

Before fracturing his left tibia in Week 12 last season, the 30-year-old Johnson showed he can produce on a team with a good offensive line.

Johnson told SiriusXM NFL Radio in late February that he wanted to return to the Cardinals and added that the feeling was mutual. He said he wasn't chasing a big contract but wanted to play for a team that had a chance to win a Super Bowl.

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

At the time of his injury, Johnson was the fourth-leading rusher in the NFL with 814 yards. He wound up missing the final five games of the season and finished his lone year in Arizona with just three touchdowns.

Johnson became expendable in Arizona after rookie David Johnson came on strong in his absence, rushing for 442 yards and scoring five touchdowns in the final five games.

The Cardinals signed Chris Johnson during training camp because of injuries to Andre Ellington. He was promoted to the starting lineup after Ellington again was hurt in Week 1. Johnson was coming off a season in which he recorded career lows in carries, rushing yards and touchdowns with the New York Jets.

In January 2015, Johnson was arrested in Orlando, Florida, and charged with openly carrying a weapon, but officials later dropped the charges. Two months later, he was shot in the right shoulder during a drive-by that left a friend with bullet wounds and the driver of their car dead.

Johnson spent his first six NFL seasons with the Tennessee Titans, never rushing for fewer than 1,000 yards in a season. His time with the Titans was highlighted by a 2,006-yard season in 2009, when he led the league in rushing, broke the NFL's single-season record for yards from scrimmage (2,509) and was named Associated Press NFL offensive player of the year.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection has averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry just once in his eight seasons -- 3.9 yards in 2013 while rushing for 1,077 yards with the Titans.

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