Updated Mar 13, 2013 - 3:26 pm
Cardinals add running back Rashard Mendenhall on one-year deal
According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Rashard Mendenhall, who spent the last five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, has agreed on a one-year deal with the team. It is being reported to be worth $2.5 million.
Mendenhall later confirmed the news:
"Obviously, I know Rashard well from our time in Pittsburgh and I hold him in very, very high regard," said Cardinals coach Bruce Arians in a press release. "As a running back he's the total package. He's a big, strong, every-down back with speed who can pass block and also catch the ball. I've said before: he's a big man with little people feet, meaning he can run like he's 180 (pounds) but also pound the ball like he's 230. When we were together in Pittsburgh he was a four-plus yards per carry kind of back and those guys are very valuable."
A 25-year-old who was drafted 23rd overall by the Steelers in 2008, Mendenhall has shown promise but has yet to put it all together and become a featured back. The one-year contract with Arizona will allow him to prove himself in hopes of earning a longer contract while also giving the team another option at the position.
And he has much to prove.
Mendenhall's rookie season was cut short due to a fractured shoulder, but he went on to rush for 1,108 and 1,273 yards, respectively, over the next two seasons while also tallying 20 touchdowns on the ground. Mendenhall had picked up 928 yards and nine scores in 2011 before tearing his ACL late in the season. He played in six games the next season but wasn't nearly as effective.
It was a bad season all the way around for the running back, as the team suspended him for a game against the Dallas Cowobys after he chose not to show up for the previous week's game, in which he was deactivated.
The 5-foot-10, 225-pound back reunites with former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who is now the head coach in Arizona.
- Carson Palmer: Arizona Cardinals need to run the football to win in the NFC West
- Carson Palmer: Arizona Cardinals are 'completely different team' from last year
- Arizona Cardinals sign wide receiver/kick returner Reggie Dunn
- The 5: Top storylines heading into Arizona Cardinals training camp
- Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson and Michael Floyd rank high on ESPN's list of top under-25 players
- Bickley Blast - Friday July 25The Cardinals kick off training camp with high expectations.
- Impromptu Power Poll - Friday July 25What are the top 5 position battles for the AZ Cardinals heading into training camp?
- Carson Palmer, AZ Cardinals QB - Friday July 25Cardinals QB Carson Palmer describes the key to this offense winning games.
- John Clayton, ESPN NFL Insider - Friday July 25ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton talks about Marshawn Lynch’s impending holdout.
- Bickley Blast - Thursday July 24What will the future hold for the Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald?