Cardinals add running back Rashard Mendenhall on one-year deal

Mar 13, 2013, 5:45 PM | Updated: 10:27 pm

The Arizona Cardinals were in need of a running back, and they got one via free agency.

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Rashard Mendenhall, who spent the last five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, has agreed on a one-year deal with the team. It is being reported to be worth $2.5 million.

Mendenhall later confirmed the news:

“Obviously, I know Rashard well from our time in Pittsburgh and I hold him in very, very high regard,” said Cardinals coach Bruce Arians in a press release. “As a running back he’s the total package. He’s a big, strong, every-down back with speed who can pass block and also catch the ball. I’ve said before: he’s a big man with little people feet, meaning he can run like he’s 180 (pounds) but also pound the ball like he’s 230. When we were together in Pittsburgh he was a four-plus yards per carry kind of back and those guys are very valuable.”

A 25-year-old who was drafted 23rd overall by the Steelers in 2008, Mendenhall has shown promise but has yet to put it all together and become a featured back. The one-year contract with Arizona will allow him to prove himself in hopes of earning a longer contract while also giving the team another option at the position.

And he has much to prove.

Mendenhall’s rookie season was cut short due to a fractured shoulder, but he went on to rush for 1,108 and 1,273 yards, respectively, over the next two seasons while also tallying 20 touchdowns on the ground. Mendenhall had picked up 928 yards and nine scores in 2011 before tearing his ACL late in the season. He played in six games the next season but wasn’t nearly as effective.

It was a bad season all the way around for the running back, as the team suspended him for a game against the Dallas Cowobys after he chose not to show up for the previous week’s game, in which he was deactivated.

The 5-foot-10, 225-pound back reunites with former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who is now the head coach in Arizona.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals' owner Michael Bidwill, left, new head coach Jonathan Gannon center, and general ...
Tyler Drake

NFL dates to remember and how they relate to the Cardinals

As Arizona's new regime gets to work on rebuilding the organization, a look at the key dates of the offseason to circle on the calendar.
15 hours ago
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Zach Pascal (3) warms up during Super Bowl LVII between the Kansa...
Wills Rice

New Cardinals WR Zach Pascal hungry to take whatever role necessary with team

New Cardinals WR Zach Pascal reunites with Jonathan Gannon for the third time and is ready for whatever role he's needed to play in 2023.
15 hours ago
Josh Woods #51 of the Detroit Lions celebrates during the second half against the New York Jets at ...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals agree to terms with LB Josh Woods on 1-year deal

The Arizona Cardinals and former Detroit Lions linebacker Josh Woods agreed to terms on a one-year deal, the team announced Thursday.
2 days ago
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals catches the game-winning touchdown pass ...
Arizona Sports

Report: Bills headlining Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins’ trade market

The Buffalo Bills are looking into a potential DeAndre Hopkins trade with the Arizona Cardinals, per report.
2 days ago
Alabama's Will Anderson Jr.(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ mock draft scenarios: Arizona keeps the No. 3 pick

Trade the third overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft or keep it? That's the question Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort will answer soon enough.
15 hours ago
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals lines up during the NFL game against the...
Arizona Sports

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell sees logical landing spot for Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins

The trade speculation surrounding Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins rolls on with each passing day of the offseason.
3 days ago
Cardinals add running back Rashard Mendenhall on one-year deal