NFL Free Agency Rumors: Which veteran running back should the Cardinals sign?

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
Tyler Wombles

The Arizona Cardinals are in the market for another running back, and one of the options that may be the best fit for the team is Duke Johnson.

The former Miami Hurricanes tailback is up for grabs after being released by the Houston Texans in February. Johnson has shown enough in his NFL career to be considered a serviceable option for a team looking to sign a veteran running back.

Johnson has performed when given the chance, particularly in the receiving game. He has caught 279 passes for 2,580 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed 382 times for 1,696 yards and seven scores during his NFL career.

Johnson is also just 27 and should still have plenty left in the tank in his professional football career. After all, it wasn't that long ago when Johnson was making college defenders look silly. He was a standout in Miami, totaling 1,652 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing during his junior year before opting to enter the NFL draft.

The Cleveland Browns drafted Johnson in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and he spent four seasons with the team before being traded to the Houston Texans. Now a free agent, it's hard to deny that it's in the Cardinals' best interest to sign him and add to their backfield.

Kingsbury and Johnson would be the perfect match for Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers

One major reason the Cardinals signing Duke Johnson would make sense is who they have on their sideline.

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is an offensive guru known for his elaborate passing attacks. That would be the perfect scenario for a pass-catching tailback like Johnson.

Houston Texans v Detroit Lions
Houston Texans v Detroit Lions

It's not far-fetched at all to imagine Kingsbury dialing up passing looks to Johnson out of the backfield or even occasionally lining him up at wide receiver. Anything is possible when you mix an offensive-minded coach like Kingsbury with a talented athlete like Johnson.

Johnson would also pair well with Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who is a danger running the ball himself. Having the duo on the field at the same time would give Kingsbury options on where to go with the ball. It would give defensive coordinators headaches trying to scheme against it.

It makes a lot of sense for the Cardinals to sign Johnson. But they better realize it themselves before another team realizes his value and adds him to their roster.

Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar


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