Skip to content

Cardinals should make a call for Chris Johnson

Erin Henderson, Chris Johnson AP

As more and more teams that don’t have franchise quarterbacks are embracing the combination of stout defense and a potent running game, one of the teams applying that approach has seen its running game decimated by injury.

The Cardinals have lost Beanie Wells to a turf toe and Ryan Williams to shoulder surgery.  Though Wells has been placed on the new IR-light list that allows him to return later in the year, they need help sooner than later.

And with LaRod Stephens-Howling, who has 12 carries for one (yes, one) yard this season as the new top option, the Cardinals should explore other possibilities.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt says the team will keep all options open.  During Tuesday’s PFT Live, I threw out a bunch of possibilities, focusing on two teams that go four deep at the position (the Pats and the Saints).  During Tuesday’s Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network, I reiterated a more specific suggestion.

Trade for Chris Johnson.

The Titans won’t be keeping Johnson beyond 2012, not with a $10 million salary due next year, $9 million of which becomes fully guaranteed the week after the next Super Bowl.  And it’s not as if the Titans will be turning things around; as Johnson recently said himself, they’re simply not a good team.

So move him, and get value.  With the Cardinals a surprising 4-1 and in need of a kick in the butt on offense, why not pick up a guy who would possibly benefit from a change of scenery?

Sure, it would be an 11-game rental.  It still would be worth it, especially if the Titans are willing to be realistic about their expectations for a guy who is averaging less than three yards per carry.

For the Cardinals, that’s a welcome upgrade from a guy who’s averaging less than 0.1 yards per carry.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Permalink 22 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Arizona Cardinals, Rumor Mill, Tennessee Titans
22 Responses to “Cardinals should make a call for Chris Johnson”
  1. pencilmonkeymagic says: Oct 10, 2012 8:06 AM

    That’s assuming the Titans would be perfectly happy to give up their franchise player…

  2. cags777 says: Oct 10, 2012 8:11 AM

    That’s actually a wonderful idea. Sure, it would take CJ a couple weeks to get the ball rolling. But at this point, the Cardinals are in a corner and need any help they can get.

  3. cholestyramine says: Oct 10, 2012 8:13 AM

    If he was openly criticizing offensive line play as a Titan, I fear for the O-line’s safety if he becomes a cardinal.

  4. otistaylor89 says: Oct 10, 2012 8:14 AM

    “Trade? What is this in-season trade thingy you speak of? I do not know what it is.”

    The NFL

  5. mittywalter says: Oct 10, 2012 8:40 AM

    Not sure he would survive the season behind this Cardinal o-line. But hey, after the comments he made recently, Tennessee may be willing to settle low for just that reason.

  6. mikewhorio says: Oct 10, 2012 8:41 AM

    The Arizona line is even worse than Tennessee’s…he might average less than 2 yards a carry there.

  7. butchvapor says: Oct 10, 2012 8:52 AM

    Should they trade their future offensive line (draft picks) for him?

  8. bleed4philly says: Oct 10, 2012 8:53 AM

    Good suggestion, not gonna happen. Cardinals organization is one of the cheapest in the league, they’d rather pay me 10 bucks to wear the pads and stand on the sideline.

  9. sadskinsfan89 says: Oct 10, 2012 8:54 AM

    so the cards shld give up what wld prob be a third round pick to have johnson for the rest of the season? they wldnt want that contract either. makes no sense to me

  10. lucky5936 says: Oct 10, 2012 9:00 AM

    This is a horrible idea. I can think of 7 back ups in the league that would be a much better trade option. Johnson is not worth his salary, and then on top of that having to give up a draft pick to retain the rights to his “play making” abilities is too much! The Cardinals have made it this far without a consistent running game. I would add Tim Hightower or Steve Slaton long before I even breathe the idea of picking up Johnson.

  11. dontlikecravens says: Oct 10, 2012 9:29 AM

    Pure bizzaro genious. Trade the guy who claims his O- line couldn’t open a can of tuna to a team who’s O-line can’t even find the can of tuna. The drama might very well be worth watching.

  12. nfloracle says: Oct 10, 2012 9:32 AM

    Is this the kind of reasoning that landed Haynesworth in Washington?

    We all know how that turned out. I get the feeling the right stuff drained out of Johnson the day he signed his big contract and put all that money in the bank.

  13. wikipediasaidso says: Oct 10, 2012 10:17 AM

    Personally, I would rather see the Titans get rid of Chris Palmer first, because I’m still not convinced he’s not the biggest part of the problem. When you see that many defenders come charging unblocked into the backfield on a regular basis on running plays, though, you have to wonder if something about the offensive scheme is just horribly broken or ineffectively coached.

    But that’s not gonna happen midseason. One can only hope they think about making a change after the season. Whether they keep CJ around as well or not.

  14. thingamajig says: Oct 10, 2012 10:28 AM

    Only only way a trade would make sense for the Cardinals would be their LT, RT, LG, RG and C for Johnson.

  15. remembermcnair says: Oct 10, 2012 10:43 AM

    It’s time for the Titans to fire not only Palmer, but the entire coaching staff. This team has underperformed in all phases of the game this year and they have not been competitive in all of their losses.

    And people who continue to place all of the blame on CJ are those who simply look at the box score and don’t watch the games. How many times is CJ hit behind the line of scrimmage? How many times is he breaking a tackle behind the line of scrimmage only to get hit by the next defender for a loss? No running back can run behind a line that cannot block. When I watch Foster or Charles or Gore, there are massive holes they are running through. Where are the holes the Titans are creating? They knew their line sucked yet they did. It address it. And for a team with $17 mil in cap space that is inexcusable!

  16. daysend564 says: Oct 10, 2012 10:51 AM

    Why would the Cardinals want to eat that for a no talent player? They already ate that with Kolb.

    I’d stick with Stephens-Howling

  17. cletusvandam says: Oct 10, 2012 12:22 PM

    Wouldn’t Chris Ivory be a better (and cheaper) option?

  18. westclaims says: Oct 10, 2012 1:07 PM

    Bad idea from a guy that knows nothing about actually playing the game.

  19. therealjr says: Oct 10, 2012 2:42 PM

    And how much dead money is that going to result in for Arizona when the cut him after the season?

  20. titansbro says: Oct 10, 2012 3:18 PM

    As a Titans fan, this would make me sooooo happy. Listen, this is not on CJ, the o-line has been attrocious. But I’m not for paying RBs all this money anyway & even when he does get a small whole he doesn’t hit it with the same burst that he used to. He also doesn’t pull away from guys once he hits the 2nd level like he used to either. He is just not the same guy that hit 2k yards. I say they start giving Jamie Harper more carries to see what he has & cut CJ in the offseason or trade him for whatever they can get. Harper looked great last pre-season as a rookie.

  21. trevor123698 says: Oct 10, 2012 4:33 PM

    I cannot believe Im seeing a 38-2 ratio on people agreeing that “there are 7 backups better than CJ”. The man is a stud and you will see it again in time. Its all about blocking. The year he ran for 2k was easy to see coming because of the blocking up front

  22. Dark Horse says: Oct 11, 2012 5:27 PM

    CJ doesn’t fit in the Cards team culture, which is unselfish and humble mainly because that’s what their star player – the Fitz – is like. Number 11 has stayed positive throughout the rebuilding process (from the Superbowl Warner team), where CJ would have quit on the team long ago. Plus I don’t think this is the kind of running back the Cards need. I’d much rather see them with a Betis type battering ram than a nimble little guy.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!