Cardinals RB Johnson focused on proving he’s great, not contract talks

Aug 13, 2018, 12:35 PM | Updated: 3:52 pm
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) is tripped up by Los Angeles Chargers defensive b...

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) is tripped up by Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins (25) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Cardinals star running back David Johnson is laser-focused heading into a new season.

Some might believe he is thinking about his contract extension, but Johnson wants to assure everyone he is only keeping his mind in one place.

“I was out for a year and I think people kind of forgot about the 2016 stats and what I did, especially with the running back group becoming so prominent now,” Johnson said Monday on 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta.

It’s easy to be forgotten after playing in less than one game for a season like Johnson did, even when he was first-team All Pro in 2016.

“I just wanna come out this season and really prove how good of a player I am,” he said.

The fourth-year running back got started on that goal quickly.

Johnson only had two carries in the team’s first preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday, but he sure made them count.

He broke off for 14 yards on both touches.

To no surprise, that was all head coach Steve Wilks needed to see in two total snaps for Johnson.

“Felt good. I was very excited to see those holes open up so well,” Johnson said of being out there.

“They told me beforehand I won’t get too many snaps. I’m definitely fine with that and I’m glad those two snaps worked out.”

That included Johnson’s first in-game action of playing with a fullback.

Starting fullback Derrick Coleman was responsible for opening that hole on the first run.

“He made it so easy for me,” Johnson said.

“You know what you’re going to get out of a fullback.”

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Johnson and the Cardinals are “not close at all” on contract extension talks. That’s not a concern for Johnson, who held out through mandatory mini-camp.

“I think they’re still talking, I really don’t know,” Johnson stated, saying he will let his agent handle the contract. “I’m focused so much on playing.”

If there is any association with his contract for his mindset, it’s for Johnson to show why he is worth the money.

“I’m gonna be out there and show them the reason why I should get a contract extension,” Johnson said.

That all began Saturday, which provided the itch Johnson has wanted to scratch for months to make his point.

“It let everyone else know that I’m back,” he said. “I’m back, ready to go, good to go, 100 percent and, man, I just can’t wait to start.”

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