3:51pm: Johnson’s one-year deal will be worth up to $3MM, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He adds that the veteran tailback turned down nearly double the money from another team.
2:47pm: The Cardinals will re-sign Chris Johnson, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It will be a one-year deal for the veteran running back. The team has confirmed the deal via press release.
Johnson was said to be deciding between the Dolphins and the Cardinals. His visit with Miami wrapped earlier this afternoon and, apparently, the Fins didn’t do enough to woo him.
Johnson, who turns 31 in September, had a bounce-back season of sorts in 2015 with the Cardinals. While his average of 4.2 yards per carry was actually a slight step down from his production with the Jets, the former first-round pick saw more playing time and got more touches in Arizona, racking up 814 rushing yards in just 11 games.
Unfortunately for Johnson, a fractured tibia suffered in the second half of the season sidelined him for the stretch run. Having been placed on IR with the designation to return, the veteran back would have been eligible to return to action if the Cardinals made the Super Bowl, but the team fell just short, losing to the Panthers in the NFC championship game.
Johnson will now return to the Cardinals, even though Arizona has David Johnson penciled in for the starting role,with Andre Ellington still on the depth chart as a change of pace back. With the Dolphins, Johnson may have had an opportunity to carry a heavier load, since second-year back Jay Ajayi currently sits atop the depth chart.
The Dolphins saw Lamar Miller depart in free agency, signing a four-year deal with the Texans. Miami then attempted to land restricted free agent C.J. Anderson, but the Broncos ultimately decided to match Anderson’s four-year, $18MM offer sheet from the Fins. Now, they’ve whiffed on CJ2K.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.