ARIZONA CARDINALS

ESPN: Cardinals’ David Johnson a fascinating player to watch in 2018

Aug 30, 2018, 1:27 PM | Updated: 6:01 pm

Rise up: Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is back healthy for the 2018 season.

And he has the most riding on the season for Arizona, according to ESPN’s staff writer Bill Barnwell.

Johnson was named No. 29 of the ESPN list’s 50 “most fascinating people” to watch this season.

The list is broken up into eight sections and highlights players, coaches and front office executives around the league and how they will influence this upcoming season.

Johnson is listed in “the Rehabilitation Stories” group, which focuses on key players around the league who suffered injuries that effected the team drastically.

Before injuring his wrist in 2017 after playing only 43 snaps, Johnson was widely recognized as one of the best running backs in the league. He has rushed for 1,843 yards and 24 touchdowns in 33 career games played.

“Does anybody have more riding on the 2018 season than Arizona’s star running back?” Barnwell asked in his article.

This season could be the difference between life-changing money and an underwhelming paycheck for a player of Johnson’s 2016 caliber.

“If we see a repeat of the 2016 season, when Johnson had a credible case as the best running back in football, he should challenge for a Todd Gurley-sized contract with $50 million or so in new money. If we see a repeat of Johnson’s 2017 season — which lasted all of three quarters before Johnson dislocated his wrist — he’s probably looking at a one-year, prove-it deal before hitting free agency again in 2019,” Barnwell wrote.

The 26-year-old decided not to hold out on his contract during this year’s training camp with negotiations lingering, and expressed that he is keeping his focus on the field. His current rookie contract expires in 2019.

Johnson’s redemption season begins Sept. 9 at University of Phoenix Stadium when the Cardinals host the Washington Redskins.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
2 days ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
3 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury takes notes as he watches players taking part in drill...
Tyler Drake

Looming questions for the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp

There are quite a few questions marks surrounding the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp this offseason.
3 days ago
(Twitter photo/New England Patriots)...
Wills Rice

New England Patriots bring back red uniforms in Back to the Future spoof

The New England Patriots announced the team is bringing back their old-school red uniform and helmet combo for the 2022 season.
4 days ago
ESPN: Cardinals’ David Johnson a fascinating player to watch in 2018