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Cardinals’ David Johnson skipping mandatory minicamp

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) stretches out with teammates during a voluntary team activity Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the NFL football team's training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Cardinals star running back David Johnson is skipping the team’s mandatory minicamp, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter had previously tweeted Johnson was holding out, but has since deleted the tweet and now said that Johnson is skipping the minicamp.

Schefter reports the two sides are hopeful they will reach an agreement before the start of the season.

98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Craig Grialou confirmed the absence of Johnson at the first day of Cardinals minicamp on Tuesday.

The final year of Johnson’s contract is this season, where he is slated to make a base salary of $1.88 million.

The NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Friday the expectation was for Johnson to have an extension before the start of the season.

“I don’t see any way he plays just for that,” Garafolo said. “I truly believe that the Cardinals and David Johnson at some point will negotiate a contract extension before the season.

“You’re talking about a guy who believes that he can go 1,000 yards receiving, 1,000 yards rushing; ain’t a shot he’s going to play for $1.9 million. I do know that he and his camp have started to think about, ‘What’s our number? What do we want to get to?’ And the Cardinals, frankly, know that if a guy winds up putting up 1,000-1,000, and then he’s slated for free agency, now you’re talking that franchise tag game. So, there is incentive for them to do the deal ahead of the season as well.”

Arizona has $13.9 million in available salary cap space as the team’s three-day minicamp gets underway.

During OTAs, Johnson was not participating in on-field work and was watching from the sidelines.

Johnson is arguably the best running back in football.

The 26-year-old rushed for 1,239 yards and caught another 879 for a combined 20 touchdowns in 2016. Last season, Johnson played in only the team’s first game of the year against the Detroit Lions before missing the rest of the year because of an injury to his wrist.

Arizona’s other running backs on the roster are Sherman Badie, Chase Edmonds, D.J. Foster, T.J. Logan and Elijhaa Penny.

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