Cardinals’ Chris Johnson: Arizona is ‘a very hard place to leave’

Jun 2, 2016, 7:00 PM | Updated: Jun 3, 2016, 1:42 pm
Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) is chased by the Detroit Lions defense during the...
Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) is chased by the Detroit Lions defense during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
LISTEN: Chris Johnson, Cardinals running back

Chris Johnson entered free agency following a productive 2015 campaign, and chose to re-sign with the Arizona Cardinals. Even though he could’ve pursued more money or a different situation, Johnson said the thought of signing with another team never really crossed his mind.

“I’m glad to be back,” Johnson told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “You know there were a couple of teams involved, a lot of good situations. Once I left here in the offseason, talking with my agent and stuff I always said, in order for me to leave here, I was going to have to get an offer that I couldn’t refuse. An offer that I couldn’t turn down; (an offer) that was blowing out the offer that I got here.

“It’s a very hard place to leave. When you’re on a team who was a game away from a Super Bowl, who got the type of coaches that we have and the type of players and just the type of bond that we have, it’s a very hard place to leave.”

Last season, Johnson ran for three touchdowns and 814 yards in 196 attempts, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He fractured his tibia in a Week 12 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers and was placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list.

Johnson would have been eligible to return to play in Super Bowl 50, but the Cardinals were bounced from the playoffs by the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship game.

“It was tough, because that was my first time in my whole career ever missing a game due to injury,” Johnson said. “So, what helped me get over it was I was having a chance to go to the Super Bowl. So, you just come in every day and just rehab, rehab. I really thought in my mind that we were going to be there. Everybody on the team just knew we were going to be there. And that’s the mindset you got to have, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.

“That was a big part of why I came back. Knowing that we were so close and we had unfinished business.”

Johnson signed a one-year deal in March worth $1.5 million, which included a $615,000 signing bonus.

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