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Cardinals Deal RB David Johnson to the Houston Texans, Nab WR DeAndre Hopkins in Return

Just a few years back David Johnson was at the very top as one of, if not the very best running back in the NFL.

Now, he will wake up on Tuesday as a former Cardinal.

The 28-year-old from Memphis, TV was dealt to the Houston Texans on Monday according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Cardinals in return for Johnson get stud wide out DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-round pick for Johnson and a second-round pick in 2020 and a fourth-round pick in 2021.

The Texans will take all of Johnson’s salary which includes a $14.156 million cap hit in 2020 and a $14 million cap hit in 2021.

Johnson’s breakout season came in 2016 when he rushed for 1239 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 4.2 yards per carry average.

The running back was a third-round selection (86th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Northern Iowa.

In five seasons Johnson has put up some gaudy numbers for the Cards, playing in 62 games rushing for 3,128 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Johnson also can make plays in the passing game, as he caught 208 passes for 2,219 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The former Northern Iowa back is heading into the second year of the three-year, $39 million extension he signed with the Cardinals.

Hopkins brings a huge passing game threat to the Cardinals, as in his career, all with Houston, he has caught 1,048 passes for 8,602 yards and 54 total touchdowns.

What’s the Status of the Cardinals Receiving Core as Free Agency Closes In? has a new article out discussing how things look to be shaping up with free agency ready to start very soon, and how teams wide receiver cores are looking going into the process.

The Cardinals have a chance to make an impact in that department, hopefully to get a new weapon for Kyler Murray.

You can read the entire article HERE – for now here’s what the piece says about the Cardinals receiver situation.

Arizona Cardinals

Top three WRs in 2019: Larry Fitzgerald (75 catches, 804 yards, 4 TDs), Christian Kirk (68-709-3), Damiere Byrd (36-370-4 — UFA).

Last season, Cardinals receivers averaged just 8.9 air yards per target, the lowest rate in the NFL, per Next Gen Stats. This was due in part to scheme and in part to poor offensive line play, but it’s fair to assume that in his second NFL season, quarterback Kyler Murray would benefit from an additional big target with high yards-after-the-catch aptitude, especially with last year’s leading receiver, Fitzgerald, turning 37 in August … and it wouldn’t hurt to have scheme familiarity (for my thoughts on what my models project Arizona should do with the eighth overall pick, check out my analytics-based mock draft.

Who Would the Cardinals Use the Franchise Tag on If Needed in 2020?

USA Today has released an interesting article regarding the ever unpopular (at least for players) ‘Franchise tag’ and how team’s may use it in 2020.

It seems like every team has an option to use the franchise tag, which stops a player from even negotiating with outside teams and forces them to stay put.

To see the entire list of all 32 teams and the players that might be franchised, click HERE.

Here’s what the article has to say about the Cardinals, who they say may franchise running back Kenyan Drake.

They’re in the bottom half of the league in terms of available cap dollars. They also got quite an eight-game audition from RB Kenyan Drake after trading for him last October. Letting the transition tag set his market might be sensible.

Cardinals Agree to Three-Year Deal with Left Tackle D.J. Humphries

The Cardinals want to make sure last year’s first overall pick Kyler Murray stays protected, and they’ve already made a big move in that direction this offseason.

The team agreed to a three-year, $45 million deal with one of the top left tackles in the game, that being D.J. Humphries.

Humphries was set to hit free agency March 18th when the new NFL league year kicked off.

The new contract will pay Humphries $30 million over the first two years and $29 million guaranteed according to

The deal was reported on Monday and Tuesday was confirmed by the Cardinals. Humphries was a starter for all 16 games for Arizona last season.

Having the left tackle aboard is a great way to kick off the team’s offseason plans.

Cardinals GM Steve Keim Wants Patrick Peterson to ‘Retire as a Cardinal’

Amid much hullabaloo regarding the future of running back David Johnson, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has also weighed in on where he and owner Michael Bidwill stand with cornerback Patrick Peterson, reports.

Season after season, Peterson has been regarded as one of the top corners in the game.

Though a suspension derailed the majority of Peterson’s 2019 campaign, Keim and Co. haven’t been soured on the standout and hope his career continues and eventually concludes in the desert.

“Pat is a guy — Michael and I have talked many times about this — we’d love to see him retire as a Cardinal,” Keim told 98.7 FM’s Doug & Wolf, adding that the team has had conversations with Peterson in regards to his contract, but nothing has transpired as of yet.

Peterson’s 2020 season is the last on his current deal — a five-year, $70.5-million contract in which he’s due $12.05 million in base salary during his age-30 year, per Over The Cap.

“He’s under contract, and I think when you look at the body of work last year, he’d be one of the first to tell you he didn’t play up to expectations early on,” Keim said.

After the Cardinals used the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft on Peterson, he responded with eight straight Pro Bowl selections — with three All-Pro nods sprinkled in — to start his stellar career. That streak ended in 2019 after Peterson spent his first six weeks serving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Peterson’s play found its way back to form down the stretch, particularly in the final three games as he notched a combined 17 tackles, two for a loss, one interception and five passes defended.

On the season, he garnered 53 tackles, two picks, seven passes defended and three tackles for loss.

“The last three games I thought he played excellent,” Keim said. “I think that he’s got a chip on his shoulder, and I think he’s going to come back with a vengeance.”

Cardinals GM Keim Says Team is Not Giving Up or Releasing RB Johnson

The Cardinals would love to see running back David Johnson return to the form from a few years back, but even if he doesn’t at this point the team is not ready to give up on the veteran.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim made it clear Friday during an appearance on 98.7 FM in Phoenix that Johnson is not going anywhere and will stay on the team’s roster for 2020.

“Cutting him is not an option,” Keim said.

The contract the Cardinals had Johnson sign on the eve of the 2018 season makes it financially prohibitive to do so. Johnson carries a cap hit of slightly more than $14 million this season if he remains on the roster, while he’ll account for even more in dead cap space — $16.2 million, to be exact — if he’s released.

Cardinals Owner Bidwill Doesn’t Seem to Mind if the Team is Forced to Appear on ‘Hard Knocks’

One of the big questions this offseason is what team is going to be on the annual HBO training camp series – “Hard Knocks.”

This is an interesting year as the Cardinals are lined up as one of five teams that could be forced by the league to be on the show if a team does not step up.

Michael Bidwill, Cardinals owner, does not seem to mind if the team is the chosen one to be on the show this offseason.

The owner appeared on 98.7 FM in Arizona and gave his thoughts on the matter.

“We’re always going to listen to everything,” Bidwill said.

“We’ll see what comes up. I think we’ve done a good job of being available and volunteering to do things, like All or Nothing. So we’ll see where we end up.”

The four other teams that the league may turn to that could be up to appear on the show are the Lions, Broncos, Jaguars and Steelers.

The decision should come in June or early July on what team is going to be on the show.

What Direction Will the Cardinals Go in Round One of the 2020 NFL Draft?

This past Sunday in Miami the 2019 NFL season came to a close, as the Kansas City Chiefs took home their first championship win in 50 years, topping the San Francisco 49ers 31-20.

With the NFL season in the books, the Cardinals as well as the other 31 teams in the league can start turning their attention to one of the biggest league events of the year, which of course is the NFL Draft.

This year the NFL Draft will take place in Las Vegas, and will happen on both NFL Network as well as ESPN over three days, Thursday April 23rd to Saturday April 25th.

If you look at price per head to get into the NFL Draft it’s going to cost a pretty penny as tickets being in sin city will be very limited.

The Cardinals, who went 5-10-1 in the first season for coach Kliff Kingsbury, sit overall with the eighth overall pick in the April draft.

The team will look to use the draft in April to not only improve the team, but also get the club closer to getting back to being competitive after having the first overall pick last year taking quarterback Kyler Murray.

The question for all the Cardinals fans is a simple one – who will the team take with the eighth overall pick, and will that player be enough of an impact player to turn the team into a winner in one season.

Last season the Cards wrapped up the year 13th in overall offensive efficiency ranking, and 31st defensive efficiency ranking.

Despite that, early thoughts seem to suggest that the Cardinals need more for Murray, and playmakers are the call for Arizona to take in the draft.

The very popular draft site, Walter Football, suggests that the Cardinals will indeed go wide out in round one with that pick.

They have Arizona taking Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who for the team would be a great pick and give the team a great weapon for the future.

Here is what the site had to say about Jeudy and what impact he will have on the team.

What a steal to get Jerry Jeudy at No. 8 overall! Larry Fitzgerald won’t be around much longer, so the Cardinals need a No. 1 receiving option to complement Christian Kirk.

Jeudy is a height-weight-speed freak in the mold of a Julio Jones. He’s the next great Alabama receiver, and he has a good chance of being a top-five selection.

A lot can happen between now and the draft in April, but getting a player that can make plays is always a good thing, and now we will see if they follow through.

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