Chris Johnson

Free Agent RB Chris Johnson Facing Battery Charge

Running back Chris Johnson isn’t ready to call it a career, but it doesn’t sound like he’s doing himself any favors. WFTS in Tampa Bay (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com) reports that the free agent is facing a misdemeanor battery charge in Florida.

The charge stems from allegations that Johnson assaulted a valet driver in Tampa, causing the victim to suffer a cut lip and bloody nose. Surveillance cameras reportedly captured the confrontation, and after the club’s owner identified Johnson, the victim separately picked him out of a lineup. Through his lawyer, the veteran entered a plea of not guilty earlier this week.

We heard back in March that the 32-year-old wasn’t ready to retire, with Johnson stating that he wanted to “give it another go.” Johnson didn’t have many suitors last offseason, and he ended up catching on with the Cardinals on a one-year deal. Arizona cut the veteran one month into the season, and the running back didn’t attract any reported interest after that.

In those four games (three starts), Johnson compiled 114 rushing yards on 45 carries. He added another five receptions for 43 yards. The former first-rounder last looked solid during the 2015 campaign, compiling 814 rushing yards and three scores. When Johnson suffered a suffered a fractured tibia in Week 12 of that season, the door opened for David Johnson, who has since emerged as one of the league’s top young rushers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chris Johnson Not Ready To Retire

Chris Johnson‘s 2017 season ended prematurely when he he was released by the Cardinals in October, but he is not ready to give up on football. The running back says he wants to “give it another go,” according to ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson (on Twitter). Chris Johnson

I’m not done yet,” Johnson said. “I am still going strong. I got too much juice left.

It remains to be seen whether the rest of the league agrees with CJ2K’s assessment. Johnson did not draw significant interest last offseason before re-signing with Arizona on a one-year deal just prior to the season opener. When he was cut loose one month later, there were no reports of Johnson getting calls from other teams.

Many assumed that Johnson was on the downslope of his career when he was let go by the Titans after the 2013 season. He answered critics in 2014 by averaging 4.3 yards per carry for the Jets and followed that up with 4.2 yards per tote for Arizona in 2015. When Johnson suffered a suffered a fractured tibia in Week 12, that opened the door for David Johnson, who has since emerged as one of the league’s premier young rushers. Over the last two years, C. Johnson has appeared in just eight games thanks to a groin injury in ’16 and his release last season.

Johnson averaged 1,328 yards per season over his six years with the Titans, including a 2,000+ yard campaign in 2009. His resume, which includes three Pro Bowl selections and one First-Team All-Pro nod, is impressive, but he’ll be celebrating his 33rd birthday in September.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Release RB Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson‘s time in Arizona has come to a close. The Cardinals released CJ2K in order to make room for the newly-acquired Adrian PetersonChris Johnson (vertical)

[RELATED: Cardinals Acquire Adrian Peterson From Saints]

The 31-year-old rushed for 814 yards and three touchdowns before giving way to David Johnson as the club’s starting running back in 2015. He missed the bulk of 2016, but the team circled back to him again this year when D. Johnson suffered a wrist injury. This time around, things didn’t work out quite as well. The older Johnson had 114 yards off of 45 carries, averaging out to 2.5 yards per attempt.

Johnson has six 1,000-yard seasons (including a 2,000-yard campaign) and three Pro Bowl nods on his resume, but those days are likely behind him. If he can’t find a team willing to give him consistent playing time, it’s possible that he could just hang ’em up.

“I need to be involved,” the speedster said in June. “At this point in my career, I don’t want to sit on the sideline. I want to get in the game.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Sign RB Chris Johnson

With star running back David Johnson set to undergo wrist surgery, the Cardinals are turning to a familiar face. Arizona signed running back Chris Johnson today, the team announced. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com first reported the signing.

The 31-year-old rushed for 814 yards and three touchdowns before giving way to David Johnson as the club’s starting running back in 2015. Unfortunately, he missed the bulk of last year due to injury.

CJ2K missed the team’s initial 53-man cut this year. Luckily for the Cardinals, he was still available when they needed him. The former Titans star now profiles as an insurance addition. This marks his latest go-round with the team, and the backfield looks similar to how it did during Johnson’s productive 2015 slate.

Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington and Kerwynn Williams each remain on the team and will likely be expected to form an emergency committee in place of David Johnson. Each has been with the Cards for at least three seasons, with Ellington now in his fifth Arizona campaign. Ellington served as the Cardinals’ primary starter in 2014 before CJ2K relegated him to backup work a year later.

But the Cards now possess plenty of experience for a team that experienced the setback they did. While none of their replacement options is on David Johnson’s level, the Cardinals may be able to use this depth to reasonably withstand this seminal development collectively.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals’ David Johnson To Miss Time

This is not the way the Cardinals wanted to start their season. After losing to the Lions on Sunday, the Cardinals have learned that running back David Johnson will be out for an extended period of time with a wrist injury. David Johnson (vertical)

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians tells reporters Johnson’s initial prognosis is the same as T.J. Logan. That’s a bad sign since the rookie was ruled out for approximately 12 weeks after suffering a wrist injury in early August.

The early word is that Johnson will require surgery, but he’ll get a second opinion this week to determine the best course of action. If he recovers within the expected timeframe, he could be a candidate to return from IR later this year.

Arians says that the Cardinals will consider re-signing running back Chris Johnson to help fill in the gap. Johnson was released by the team just prior to the 53-man deadline. Fortunately for them, CJ2K is still available. The 31-year-old rushed for 814 yards and three touchdowns before giving way to D. Johnson as the club’s starting running back in 2015. He missed the bulk of last year due to injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals To Release RB Chris Johnson

The Cardinals will release running back Chris Johnson, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Chris Johnson

Johnson missed the majority of the 2016 campaign with injury, but had been a solid contributor for Arizona as recently as 2015, when he rushed for 814 yards and three touchdowns before giving way to David Johnson as the club’s starting running back. Having signed a one-year deal that contained $200K guaranteed earlier this year, Johnson had been viewed as a lock for the Cardinals’ roster. Now, the 31-year-old back with have to look for work elsewhere (if he plans to continue his career, that is).

The Cardinals, clearly, are set at running back with the aforementioned Johnson, who figures to handle the majority of the club’s carries. Even superstars need breathers, however, and Arizona will turn to Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington as Johnson’s backups. Rookie T.J. Logan, meanwhile, could return later this year after recovering from injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Falcons, Vikes, Cowboys, Cards

Although he hasn’t gotten a new contract yet, Falcons running back Devonta Freeman reported to training camp Wednesday, per Zach Klein of WSB in Atlanta (on Twitter). Freeman insisted during the offseason that he wouldn’t hold out, so it’s not surprising that he joined his teammates at the outset of camp. While Freeman’s agent left town after a meeting with Falcons brass on Wednesday, talks are ongoing, according to ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure, who suggests that a deal could come together by Thursday.

More from the NFC:

  • “There really hasn’t been anything that’s changed” regarding Sam Bradford‘s contract status, the Vikings quarterback told reporters, including Ben Goessling of ESPN.com, on Wednesday. Bradford is one of two high-profile Vikings signal-callers who could become a free agent next year. The other is Teddy Bridgewater, who suffered a knee injury last August that led to the Vikings acquiring Bradford from the Eagles. Bridgewater still isn’t ready to return to the gridiron, as the team went the expected route and announced Wednesday that he’ll start training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list. His contract could toll if he lands on the reserve/PUP list by by Week 1, which would give the Vikings an extra year of control over the 2014 first-round pick.
  • Searching for a Lucky Whitehead replacement, the Cowboys worked out wide receivers Corey Washington and Marvin Bracy on Wednesday, but they won’t sign either, reports Todd Archer of ESPN.com. The only one with NFL experience is Washington, who appeared in eight games with the Giants in 2014 and caught five passes. Bracy hasn’t played competitively since his redshirt year at Florida State in 2012. The speedster left football to focus on track, which worked out well. He was a 100-meter Olympian at the Rio Games in 2012 and is a former United States 60-meter dash champion.
  • Running back Chris Johnson‘s one-year deal with the Cardinals is worth $1.35MM (a bit more than was previously reported) and can max out at $2.5MM with incentives, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.

NFC Notes: Panthers, Norman, Dez, Trubisky

Dave Gettleman‘s ouster as the Panthers general manager stands as this week’s most shocking NFL story, and Joe Person and Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer detail some of the reasons behind his firing. Gettleman’s “brusque management style” and his reshaping of Carolina’s roster after its 15-1, NFC-winning campaign in 2015 contributed to his demise, with his decision to rescind cornerback Josh Norman‘s franchise tag in 2016 helping to decide his fate. Letting Norman loose on the free agent market meant allowing a No. 1-caliber corner to walk away without the club receiving compensation, and it irked some of the team’s players.

A year later, the departure of ex-assistant general manager Brandon Beane also weakened Gettleman’s grip on the GM job. Beane took over as Buffalo’s GM in May, which cost Gettleman the good cop to his bad cop. The loss of Beane negatively affected Gettleman’s work relationships, according to Person and Fowler, as the former “acted as a go-between among the front office, coaching staff and locker room,” the reporters explain. Former Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert, who signed with the Bills after Gettleman released him in February, confirmed that Beane was a valuable figure in Carolina. “As players we all love Beane. We all love being around him,” said Tolbert. “He’s part of the reason we did what we did. I’m happy to have him in Buffalo now, I can tell you that much.”

More from the NFC:

  • Speaking of Norman, who’s now with the Redskins, he could end up as a cap casualty next offseason if he doesn’t make more of an impact this year, suggests Rich Tandler of CSN Mid-Atlantic. With 14 infractions, Norman led the league in penalties last year, Tandler points out. However, it seems he has otherwise lived up to Washington’s five-year, $75MM investment thus far. Norman picked off three passes and forced two fumbles last season – a slight drop-off from four and three, respectively, in 2015 – started all 16 games, easily led Redskins defenders in snaps (1,057) and ranked 24th among Pro Football Focus’ 109 qualified corners. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that designating the soon-to-be 30-year-old Norman a post-June 1 cut in 2018 would save the Redskins a healthy $14MM and leave them with a manageable $3MM in dead money next season.
  • A lack of punctuality has been a problem for Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant throughout his career, and his issues with reporting to team functions on time have already cropped up this year. Bryant made it to training camp three hours late on Friday, relays Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, though the player informed Jane Slater of NFL Network that he has been dealing with sinus infections and headaches. He’s now working with the Cowboys’ training staff to alleviate his sinus troubles, adds Rapoport. Further, Bryant apologized to Cowboys coaches and “took full responsibility” for his tardiness, writes Slater, but it’s still likely the team will fine him, reports Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram (Twitter links here).
  • Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky‘s rookie contract contains partial offsets, tweets Albert Breer of The MMQB. His deal is similar to the one Marcus Mariota signed with the Titans in 2015, when he, like Trubisky this year, entered the league as the second overall pick in his draft class. Mariota and the Titans agreed to make his base salaries (a total of $2.28MM) subject to offsets, but the vast majority of his $24.214MM pact is protected.
  • Cardinals running back Chris Johnson‘s one-year deal includes a $1MM base value, $200K in guarantees and a chance to earn more in incentives, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Cardinals Re-Sign RB Chris Johnson

The Cardinals have re-signed running back Chris Johnson, according to a team announcement. It’s a one-year deal, per a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Chris Johnson (vertical)

This offseason, head coach Bruce Arians has appeared to be content with Kerwynn Williams as the primary backup to superstar David Johnson. Apparently, that’s not quite the case. Johnson will now compete with Williams, Andre Ellington, and fifth-round pick T.J. Logan to be D. Johnson’s main understudy.

CJ2K, 32 in September, is coming off of a rough year which ended with a groin injury. It was his second straight year to be cut short by injury, but it’s important to note that he missed only one career game before first signing with Arizona in 2015.

Johnson has six 1,000-yard seasons (including a 2,000-yard campaign) and three Pro Bowl nods on his resume, but the Cardinals are just hoping that he can offer reliable production in a support role. Regardless how the Cardinals view him, Johnson will be fighting hard for significant carries.

“I need to be involved,” the speedster said in June. “At this point in my career, I don’t want to sit on the sideline. I want to get in the game.”

The Cardinals already had one open spot on the 90-man roster, so they will not need to release anyone to make room for Johnson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Rodgers, Panthers, Elliott, Cards

The Packers have not discussed a contract extension for Aaron Rodgers with his agent, David Dunn, the quarterback told a Milwaukee TV station last week (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). Given that Rodgers still has three years left on the deal he signed in 2013, the Packers don’t have to work anything out imminently. However, on the possibility of Rodgers becoming the NFL’s highest-paid player again in the near future, team president Mark Murphy admitted to Demovsky, “You need to plan for it.” Unsurprisingly, Murphy added that the franchise regards re-upping the two-time league MVP as a priority. Rodgers topped all NFLers when he signed his five-year, $110MM deal four years ago, but salaries around him have increased significantly. As a result, the 33-year-old is set to rake in just the sixth-highest amount at his own position this season ($22MM).

More from the NFC:

  • Prior to his firing on Monday, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman wasn’t in a rush to sign linebacker Thomas Davis or tight end Greg Olsen to contract extensions, as Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes. With Gettleman now out of the picture, Davis and Olsen could cash in over the next couple weeks, suggests Person, who relays that those two are owner Jerry Richardson’s favorite players. Given that Richardson’s running the show for the GM-less Panthers at the moment, he’s free to lock up the pair of veteran cornerstones.
  • While some of Carolina’s ex-players have taken pleasure in Gettleman’s ouster, current Panthers offensive tackle Michael Oher is upset over his departure. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Oher noted that Gettleman has been supportive of him during his nearly yearlong recovery from concussion issues, writing: “While on the plane headed to see Concussion specialist Mickey Collins I learned Dave Gettleman has been dismissed . . . this is news that I hated to hear . . . in this business you don’t build personal relationships but I can honestly say I had one with Mr. G . . . he is the only person Besides R. V (team trainer Ryan Vermillion) and Dr. Heyer who has constantly checked on my well being, condition and state of mind that I’ve been suffering from my injury. Guy really cares about you as a person just not the player . . . also is interested in how your family is as well . . . hated to hear that news but I know he’ll be fine . . . and for the people who were happy and had something do with it downstairs, Karma’s a MF!!”
  • In addition to the incident that transpired over the weekend, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is also facing a misdemeanor charge for speeding. He is appealing that conviction, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. The running back is accused of going 100 mph in a 70 mph zone back in April.
  • Tight end, cornerback and running back stand out as positions the Cardinals could address this summer, observes Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Aside from starter Jermaine Gresham, the Cardinals lack established options at tight end, where Troy Niklas and Ifeanyi Momah have dealt with injuries and Hakeem Valles is coming off a rookie season spent mostly on special teams. The Cards may bolster their depth at corner, but they won’t make any Darrelle Revis-esque splashes in free agency, according to Somers. At running back, head coach Bruce Arians is seemingly content with Kerwynn Williams backing up superstar David Johnson, though there could be room for free agent Chris Johnson‘s return if Andre Ellington and the Cards’ young reserves don’t show well in the coming weeks, per Somers.

Zach Links contributed to this post.