As I was perusing Twitter yesterday, I came across this tweet from Evan Silva, a writer for NBC Sports and Rotoworld:
New #Cardinals HC Bruce Arians once compared Rashard Mendenhall to Edgerrin James. Arizona would be sensible landing spot for Mendenhall.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) January 28, 2013
The fit makes a bit of sense. The Cardinals may be looking to build on a shaky group of running backs and adding Mendenhall, who has already worked with head coach Bruce Arians, could be a nice start.
Then again, do the Cards really need to weigh themselves down with a hefty contract for another oft-injured back? They already have Beanie Wells, who is injured seemingly all the time, and Ryan Williams, who has sat out almost his first two full seasons.
Mendenhall will be 26 by the time the season begins and the rule of thumb I usually like to stick by is that I don't necessarily want my team giving a running back (unless they are a special teams contributor/won't cost much like LaRod Stephens-Howling) a second contract. After their rookie deal, unless they are an absolute star like Adrian Peterson, you can let them go.
We see all of these stars come out of absolutely nowhere: Alfred Morris, Arian Foster, etc. Why can't the Cardinals go fishing in the later rounds and find another Tim Hightower to be their workhorse? I don't see why not.
I'd rather let Wells play out the final year of his contract, hope Ryan Williams can make an impact, maybe re-sign LaRod Stephens-Howling if the price is right (which it could very well be) and give William Powell some snaps. The team could even draft somebody in the late rounds. Besides, do they really want a guy that was demoted to the third-string back by Mike Tomlin by the end of last season?
As for Mendenhall, I'll pass. This is a guy that I would not support the Cardinals signing.