Free agent Chris Johnson will first look for fit outside Cardinals

Feb 28, 2017, 7:33 PM | Updated: 7:40 pm
Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) celebrates his touchdown against the Tampa Bay Bu...
Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) celebrates his touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Cardinals running back Chris Johnson wants to play. To find that opportunity, he might begin his free agency by looking outside Arizona.

The veteran joined Alex Marvez’s Sirius XM NFL Radio show on Tuesday and said that both he and the Cardinals are interested the running back returning for his third year with the team.

Yet, Johnson added that he’ll start his free agency process by looking at other options.

“I think I want to go out there and see what options I have first,” Johnson said on SiriusXM NFL Radio as transcribed on Sporting News. “I feel at this point in my career if it’s not a situation where a team wants to bring me in to be a starter, I definitely need to be somewhere where I have a role.

“I need to be involved. At this point in my career, I don’t want to sit on the sideline. I want to get in the game.”

Johnson, 32, likely sees his opportunity as a limited one with the Cardinals.

Arizona, after all, will continue leaning upon lead running back David Johnson, who piled up 1,239 rushing yards and 879 receiving yards in 2016. At the same time, the Cardinals might lose backup running backs Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington to free agency.

Kerwynn Williams ended up finishing the year as Arizona’s second-leading rusher behind David Johnson with 157 yards. He is still under contract.

From its perspective, Arizona might be apprehensive to re-sign the elder Johnson, whose past two seasons have ended with injuries. He took 25 carries for 95 yards last season before he underwent sports-hernia surgery.

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