Cardinals running back David Johnson says that he is paying close attention to Le’Veon Bell‘s contract negotiations with hopes that he’ll get a big payday. Johnson feels that things are about to change for top running backs and believes that big money is on the way.
“I feel like, especially now, with the running backs we have in this league, we’re going to definitely change the mentality of the running back and those contract deals,” Johnson told Andy Benoit of The MMQB. “We’re going to definitely make it [understood] that running backs are more important than you’d think. Everyone thinks it’s a passing league, but I think running backs are starting to show up and show out and prove that you need a good one to be a capable team.”
Unfortunately for Johnson, teams are still paying close attention to the odometers on running backs and it’s hard to net a monster deal after you’ve already logged a certain number of NFL carries. There are exceptions, but the perception remains that running backs are fungible with a limited shelf life and that impacts their pay day.
Here’s more from the NFC West:
- Former NFL running back Glen Coffee will be participating in Saturday’s Spring League Showcase, Mike Florio of PFT writes. The 29-year-old was a former third round pick of the 49ers who retired after one NFL season. He announced earlier this year that he would be attempting a comeback. Given his age and time away from the game, he’ll really have to impress scouts in order to get a camp invite.
- New Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth is the best newcomer to the NFC West this year, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com argues. Whitworth takes over for failed former No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson and should give Jared Goff better protection on his blindside. Whitworth is 36, but he has three Pro Bowls on his resume and is considered to be one of the game’s very best tackles.
- Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead is likely to begin the year on the PUP list.