After the announcement that the Arizona Cardinals had agreed to terms with former Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings running back Chester Taylor, there were several reactions that were not positive towards the move. Some cited his declining statistics, some hoping for another specific player and others simply because of his age and the fact that he could potentially take away touches from other players already on the team like LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith.
For the naysayers, I hope to alleviate your concerns.
I have been on the record as writing that Chester Taylor is a great fit at running back for what the Cardinals need.
I am aware that Taylor is almost 32 years old. I know that is ancient for most running backs. I know that he was a huge disappointment in Chicago after he signed his free agent deal there. He rushed for only 267 yards last season and averaged only 2.4 yards per carry.
Even still, I think this is a wise signing.
Unless I am completely wrong, I do not see Taylor getting many carries at all, so for those who believe that he will get in the way of the touches that LSH and Smith might get, know that he is not being brought in as a guy to relieve Beanie Wells.
It looks like he will be more like Jason Wright. Wright ran the ball only six times last season. I think Taylor will play a little more, but he will be used a lot like Larry Centers once was long ago, only in a much smaller scale. He will play mostly on passing downs to occasionally catch a pass and to help in blitz pickup.
Those are the things he does best.
Will he get carries? Perhaps a few. But I do not see any scenario in which he will shoulder any sort of burden in the rushing attack.
Will Taylor have been a bad signing? That will depend on the amount of money it took to get him. I cannot imagine it was too much.
Perhaps he has nothing left in the tank and he contributes little. But, to be honest, how much does the third or fourth running back on a roster contribute?
The Cards, according to what it looks like, were looking for a particular skill set. Taylor has it. I just don't see the downside, unless they are overpaying him.
Go ahead and get ready to toss me overboard at the end of the season if I am wrong, but I would bet that at the end of the year, no one will have though that the addition of Taylor was a bad thing.