Arizona Cardinals sign former Steelers RB James Conner to 1-year deal

Apr 13, 2021, 8:49 AM | Updated: 6:29 pm
James Conner #30 (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)...
James Conner #30 (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

It appears everything checked out with former Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner during his Monday visit with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals announced the signing of Conner, who was one of the top running backs left on the market, to a one-year deal Tuesday morning.

The one-year contract is worth $1.25 million, including a $500,000 signing bonus, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Conner, a third-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017, rushed for 721 yards and six touchdowns at 4.3 yards per carry last season. He also caught 35 passes on 43 targets for 215 receiving yards.

Conner, 25, reunites with running backs coach James Saxon, who coached the RB in Pittsburgh between 2017-18.

Conner could fill the shoes left by Kenyan Drake, who led the Cardinals in rushing yards (955) and rushing attempts (239) last season.

The running back brings with him a bigger frame at 6-foot-1 and 233 pounds, complimenting Chase Edmonds’ versatility with power running abilities.

In four seasons with the Steelers, Conner compiled 2,302 yards and 22 touchdowns on 532 carries. He also caught 124 balls for 963 yards and four touchdowns. His nine 100-yard rushing games ranks seventh in Steelers franchise history.

Conner made the Pro Bowl in 2018 after rushing for 12 touchdowns (tied for third-most in the NFL at during that year) and 973 yards. He chipped in 55 receptions for 497 yards and a score.

Behind Edmonds and Conner on the current depth chart is second-year undrafted pro Jonathan Ward, who received only a handful of offensive snaps in 2020. Fellow second-year pro and 2020 seventh-round pick Eno Benjamin, an Arizona State product, is also under contract but did not play during his rookie season.

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