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Cardinals have ‘all the confidence in the world’ in RB Chase Edmonds

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals are in the same boat as the rest of the NFL.

With the salary cap ceiling not yet announced, it’s a virtual waiting game to see just how much money they’ll have to spend in free agency.

And for a team like the Cardinals, there’s quite a few decisions to make regarding the future of the roster.

One of those being the running back spot.

With 2020 starter Kenyan Drake slated to hit free agency on March 17 following the expiration of his transition tag, the Cardinals are at a crossroads. Re-sign a starting running back that was just 45 yards away from the 1,000-yard mark in 2020 or look to cut back on expenses with other key positions in limbo?

That decision remains to be seen, but if the Cardinals were forced to cut bait with Drake, who was second on the team with 10 touchdowns in 2020, they feel the speedy Chase Edmonds can carry the load if needed.

“As far as Chase goes, you’ve seen him when he’s had his opportunity,” Kingsbury said via Zoom on Thursday. “He’s played at a starting running back level and we all understand that. He’s unfortunately been nicked up a couple times, which we want to keep him on the field, but we have all the confidence in the world in Chase and him being able to be the bell-cow if that’s how this plays out.”

Last season, Edmonds compiled 97 carries for 448 yards (both career highs) and a touchdown. He also set career marks in the receiving game with 53 catches for 402 yards and four scores. The running back made two starts for Arizona for the second straight season as well, combining for 83 yards on 28 carries to go along with five catches for 39 yards.

The scatback made his name known in 2019 with an impressive outing against the New York Giants. Despite not getting the start over then-starter David Johnson, Edmonds was an absolute animal, rushing for 126 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries, all single-game highs for the RB. He also added two catches for 24 yards.

The potential is there for the young running back, who enters the final year of his rookie deal with a lot of tread on the tires.

EXTRA POINTS

Kingsbury on the state of the offensive line:

“I think that’s something we’re talking through right now as free agency approaches. We’ll continue to figure out how much money there is and how much the salary cap is. That’s a position just like all positions that we’re going to look at. But I thought that group over the last two years has made big strides and we’re going to continue to try and make sure we’re moving that in the right direction.”

Kingsbury on upgrading the wide receiver room:

“We’re going to try to improve in the best way that we can. Free agency is going to be a unique situation this year with a bunch of variables and so anyway we can improve the offense that way we will and then the draft as well. It is a deep wide receiver draft as you can tell, but we’re just going to take it one day at a time throughout this process and anyway we can improve, we’re trying to improve.”


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