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.


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Goedert #88 of the Philadelphia Eagles jumps out of a tackle by Dennis Gardeck #45 of the Ar...

Alex Weiner

Cardinals OLB Dennis Gardeck working to improve pass rush technique this offseason

Cardinals edge rusher Dennis Gardeck said he is improving his technique with new OLBs coach Rob Rodriguez to become a more complete rusher.

17 hours ago

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up prior to his game against the Philadelphia Eagles...

Tom Kuebel

Bleacher Report: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray is NFL’s most overrated QB

Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport ranks Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray as the most overrated player at his position in the NFL.

17 hours ago

Monti Ossenfort...

Arizona Sports

Barnwell: Arizona Cardinals 12th-most improved team this offseason

In ESPN analyst Bill Barnwell's eyes, the Cardinals are among those who have used the offseason to their advantage.

3 days ago

Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during the second quarter against the Carolina Pan...

Wills Rice

ESPN’s Bowen: Best potential landing spots for Budda Baker, DeAndre Hopkins

ESPN's Matt Bowen gave the best potential landing spots for both wideout DeAndre Hopkins and Cardinals safety Budda Baker.

2 days ago

James Conner...

Tyler Drake

No complaints: Cardinals’ James Conner excited to ‘prove people wrong’ with new regime

While outside expectations are some of the lowest they have been in Cardinals history, RB James Conner isn't focused on the external noise.

2 days ago

Kyler Murray...

Arizona Sports

Simms: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray in ‘clock’s ticking’ tier of NFL quarterbacks

After going down with a season-ending knee injury, can Kyler Murray return to form and be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL?

3 days ago

Cardinals add running back Rashard Mendenhall on one-year deal