clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chris Johnson on possible return to Arizona Cardinals: 'They want me back and I want to be back'

New, comments

The veteran back could return after a productive 2015.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals potentially could have a very talented running back room once again in 2016. In 2015, they started three different running backs and really didn't miss a beat with any of them. Andre Ellington, Chris Johnson and David Johnson all started. Moving forward, David Johnson is considered the unquestioned starter and a potential star, but we might see the return of Chris Johnson.

Johnson was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio on "Late Hits" with Gil Brandt and Alex Marvez and discussed the possibility of a return to the Cardinals.

"I feel like at this point in my career I am not really chasing the money," said Johnson. "I can't say I ever really chased the money, but when you're a young guy in this league, you want to take care of your family and get the highest deal possible.

"I still want to get the best deal, but at the same time, I want to be somewhere where we have a chance to win. I feel like Arizona is the best place for me right now."

Because the Cardinals were the only team that expressed interest in Johnson last offseason following the gunshot wound he suffered, he says his loyalties are with Arizona and it sounds like the feeling is mutual.

"Throughout the offseason, having talked with Coach BA (Bruce Arians), Coach Stump (running backs coach Stump Mitchell) and all that, they want me back and I want to be back," he said. "You how the business side of it goes, so everything's got to be rught for both parties and I can't wait to get back up there."

Johnson's last contract was for the league minimum, but with incentives based on performance and making the Pro Bowl. He could have earned $2 million with 1300 yards rushing and a Pro Bowl berth. He saw his season end with a chip fracture in his tibia and he ended up with over 800 yards and was a Pro Bowl alternate.

The five games he missed in 20015 were the only ones he had missed in his career since his rookie season in 2008, when he played in 15 of 16 games.

Presumably the Cardinals would want a veteran in the locker room, especially with the second-year David Johnson being the starter. Chris Johnson not only has the resume, but also the cache of respect for his durability and work ethic. Aside from the potential 1-2 punch the two backs could be, the presence of the veteran Johnson would be invaluable.

Of course, if Johnson does return, that does make you wonder about what role Andre Ellington will play. Would they keep Ellington with his salary bump because of playing time, as he is now expected to make almost $1.7 million in 2016.

Do you want Chris Johnson back?