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Monday, February 17, 2020

Articles tagged: Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals GM says cutting David Johnson is ‘not an option’

David Johnson

The Arizona Cardinals may be considering moving on from David Johnson this offseason, but they are apparently not going to simply release him.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told reporters on Friday that cutting Johnson is “not an option.” The GM also spoke about having multiple running backs that you can rely on, which seemed to be an indicator that Johnson could be back with Arizona in 2020.

Johnson is set to earn $10.2 million next season, so the Cardinals would probably trade him if an opportunity arose. The 28-year-old had just 715 total yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 13 games this past season. There’s no reason to think he will be a major part of Kliff Kingsbury’s offense going forward.

Kenyan Drake exploded for the Cardinals down the stretch after they acquired him in a trade with the Miami Dolphins, rushing for 363 yards and scoring seven touchdowns over Arizona’s final three games. Drake averaged 6.0 yards per carry through that span and looked to be a great fit, but he is set to become a free agent. He may have earned himself a huge contract with his performance.

The ideal scenario for the Cardinals this offseason would probably be trading Johnson and re-signing Drake, but neither of those things are a given.

Will Cardinals part ways with David Johnson?

David Johnson

David Johnson had a disappointing season in 2018 after he returned from a wrist injury, but many believed he was poised for a breakout this past year in new head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s innovative offense. That did not happen, and it would not be a surprise if Johnson is playing for a team other than the Arizona Cardinals next season.

Johnson had just 715 total yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 13 games this season. That is disappointing production, to say the least, for a player who signed a three-year, $39 million extension at the start of the 2018 season. With Johnson owed a base salary of $10.2 million in 2020, ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss predicts that the running back will be released by Arizona this offseason.

Johnson’s $10.2 million salary becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the new league year, which is March 20. Unless Kingsbury has big plans for Johnson, it makes no sense to pay him like one of the top running backs in the NFL.

The Cardinals would probably like to bring back Kenyan Drake, who exploded for them down the stretch after they acquired him in a trade with the Miami Dolphins. However, Drake’s breakout over the final weeks of the season may have earned him a big payday in free agency. The 26-year-old rushed for 363 yards and scored seven touchdowns over Arizona’s final three games. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry through that span.

Johnson is still just 28, so he should attract significant interest on the open market if the Cardinals decide to release him.

Report: Nolan Arenado trade talks between Rockies, Cardinals heating up

The Colorado Rockies may be slowly moving toward a blockbuster trade involving Nolan Arenado.

The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the teams that has been discussing an Arenado trade with Colorado, and Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported on Tuesday that the two sides have moved beyond preliminary talks and begun discussing other players that could be included in a potential deal. To this point, the Rockies have insisted on getting a combination of MLB-ready talent and at least one prospect if they move Arenado.

Morosi believes the Cardinals have the right pieces to make a trade with the Rockies, and St. Louis also has the financial resources to absorb the $234 million remaining on the massive extension Arenado signed with Colorado prior to the 2019 season. Arenado has a full no-trade clause, but he is said to have “deep respect” for the Cardinals organization and is also close friends with St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from when the two won a gold medal together on Team USA at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

The Cardinals may want assurances that Arenado won’t opt out of his contract after the 2021 season, but they would have to add more value to his contract (per MLB bargaining agreement rules) if they want him to waive the opt out clause.

One player St. Louis could include in a trade with the Rockies is Matt Carpenter, who can play at both corner spots in the infield. The 34-year-old is owed $39 million through 2021, which includes the buyout on a club option for 2022. Morosi said it is unclear if the Cardinals will insist on Carpenter being included.

At least one other team is believed to be pursuing an Arenado trade, so the Rockies may have options. While it is rare for a player to be traded only a year after signing a massive contract, Colorado finished 71-91 last season and may be regretting the deal.

Terrell Suggs released by Cardinals

Terrell Suggs

Terrell Suggs played for a team other than the Baltimore Ravens for the first time in his career this season, but he will not finish out the year with that team.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced on Friday that the team is releasing Suggs, which means he will go on waivers until Monday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that it is unclear if Suggs wants to continue playing.

Suggs, 37, had 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in 13 games with Arizona. He could make for an intriguing pickup for a team that is heading to the playoffs, and he is certainly plenty familiar with the Ravens. He signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Cardinals prior to the season, so any team that claimed him would have to absorb that.

It’s unclear if Baltimore would want Suggs back or if he would want to return, but he had an emotional farewell message for the team when he left last offseason. The pass-rusher had 132.5 career sacks and seven Pro Bowl appearances during his time with the Ravens and helped them win a Super Bowl.

Kenyan Drake traded from Dolphins to Cardinals for draft pick

The Miami Dolphins have been shopping running back Kenyan Drake ahead of Tuesday’s deadline, and they have finally found a place to send him.

Drake will be traded to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a conditional 2020 draft pick, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported.

The Cardinals have dealt with multiple injuries at the running back position, as David Johnson was sidelined on Sunday with an ankle issue and Chase Edmonds left the game with a hamstring injury. Drake could be in line for significant work on Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers, as Johnson is expected to be out at least one more week and Edmonds’ status remains unclear.

Drake has averaged just 3.7 yards per carry on 47 attempts this season, though he was playing for the worst team in football. He found himself in former Dolphins coach Adam Gase’s doghouse at times last season, but he’s a former third-round pick who has flashed signs of being an explosive player. Depending on how severe the injuries are for Johnson and Edmonds, the Cardinals could lean on Drake heavily down the stretch.

Jay Ajayi working out for Cardinals

Jay Ajayi

Jay Ajayi is looking to get back into the NFL, and has at least one interested suitor as he begins working out.

Ajayi is set to work out for the Arizona Cardinals this week, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and could sign if he impresses.

Ajayi is a year removed from an ACL tear, but he has assured teams that the injury is behind him and he’s ready to play at full health. Still
only 26, the running back is three years removed from a 1,272-yard season with the Miami Dolphins.

It’s interesting that the running back is working out for the Cardinals, who already have David Johnson and Chase Edmonds at the position. Johnson has been banged up for the last few weeks, and it could be a sign that Arizona has some modest concerns there.

Cardinals issue statement on COO’s ‘inexcusable’ arrest

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals have promised “serious consequences” against COO Ron Minegar after his DUI arrest Saturday night.

The organization released a statement Sunday calling Minegar’s actions “inexcusable” and threatened consequences against Minegar, who also serves as the team’s Executive Vice President.

Minegar was stopped Saturday night for speeding, failure to drive in one lane, and driving in the bicycle lane. He was cited and released.

It isn’t clear what those consequences will be, but the Cardinals are taking things with the seriousness that they deserve. They have some unfortunate history in dealing with this sort of thing, as GM Steve Keim served a five-week suspension after his own DUI arrest a year ago.