Arizona Cardinals Part Ways With Running Back Chris Johnson

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NFL: St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Oct 2, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) looks on against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Rams won 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back Chris Johnson Released

The Arizona Cardinals announced today that they have released veteran running back Chris Johnson. This move comes as bit surprising for some fans. The Cardinals re-signed Johnson to a one-year deal on July, 20th so many presumed he would be a lock to make the team. However less than two months later Johnson has been released. So what happened between now and then that made the Cardinals change their feelings about Johnson? One of the reasons is because of the other running backs on the roster.


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Competition

Johnson was battling out for roster spots with Elijhaa Penny and Andre Ellington. David Johnson obviously is the featured back, Kerwynn Williams has taken on the role of return man, and TJ Logan is a rookie the Cardinals are very excited about. Those three guys were locks to make the team. The Cardinals only kept four running backs last year on the active roster, so if they had kept Johnson they probably would not have been able to keep Penny and Ellington. Those two players are more dynamic players than Johnson, so it makes sense in terms of roster construction for them to stay and for Johnson to be released. Additionally, Penny can also be practice squad player option as well, as opposed to Johnson who is not eligible for that. But the reason why he became more expendable in first place, was due to his lackluster performance on the field.

Performance

In the Falcons game, Johnson has problems with his ball security. He had two fumbles in that game. He also did not look as quick as fans are so accustomed to seeing him. At age 31, coming off back to back season ending injuries, could this really be the end of CJ2K? The question is definitely relevant. The most common age that running backs begin to breakdown is the age 30. For a guy that has had over 2,100 rushing attempts and rushed for more than 9,500 yards, it would not be surprising to see this be the end for him.

The End?

If this is the end of CJ2K, he should be pretty satisfied with his career. Obviously not being part of championship is disappointing, but he probably helped loads of fantasy owners win their championships. To close out Johnson’s career in Arizona here is throwback highlight from Monday Night Football. Man…the NFL will miss CJ2K.

– Andrew Erickson covers the Cardinals for cover32. Like and follow on

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