Steve Keim: Cutting David Johnson isn’t an option

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After a recent ESPN piece offering predictions for the offseason suggested the Cardinals would cut running back David Johnson, we noted that doing so would be a financial mess for the team.

Johnson is guaranteed a salary $10.2 million for the 2020 season and cutting him would result in a bigger cap hit than keeping him on hand. Given those facts, releasing him doesn’t seem like an idea with a lot of legs even if the Cardinals prefer Kenyan Drake as their top back moving forward.

The guy who gave Johnson that contract agrees. General Manager Steve Keim answered a question about the running back during an appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 Friday by saying that “cutting him is not an option.”

Trading Johnson may be an option, although it would likely call for the Cardinals to eat some salary and could require them to attach a draft pick to make the deal enticing to another club. Keim also said that you can’t have just one back in the lineup and that may lead to Johnson serving as a pricey backup again next season.

20 responses to “Steve Keim: Cutting David Johnson isn’t an option

  1. Keim has to be the absolute worst GM in the entire league. How he remains employed is one of life’s great mysteries. Bad contracts, bad draft picks, he does it all and then acts like he’s just fixing other people’s mistakes.

  2. Seems like a good fit in Miami with the Dolphins getting money & a draft pick along with David Johnson. We have the Cap space for next season for sure

  3. I understand people love to bash Keim for his decisions, and I fully get some of them. However, this isn’t one of them.

    For a team that lacked a consistent and stable QB room at the time of that extension, it’s absolutely the right move to extend the guy who had more than 2100 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns in one season

    People love to play keyboard warrior GM on this site, but any logical person understands you can’t replicate that production in “RB by committee” and a team lacking at the QB position can’t let go of their main source of offense.

    Hindsight is 20/20. It didn’t work out. But at the time of this extension, it made 100% sense and you can’t blame Keim for that.

    For example: Are you guys gonna be holding the same stance with McCaffery gets his extension?

  4. “The Bidwell’s retain ” Worst Run Team ” crown once again…”

    Cleveland, the Jets and Cincy wave hi

  5. Speaking of bad GM decisions…Kenyan Drake, another great RB (along w Damien Williams) who withered away in Miami…Confounding, as to why/how Miami could not make these 2 work. Now their down to who?

  6. mogogo1 says:
    February 14, 2020 at 10:58 am
    Keim has to be the absolute worst GM in the entire league.
    Nope, anyone who holds that position for Miami holds that title.

  7. The Steelers should consider offering a 3rd or 4th round pick for him.
    DJ needs a fresh start and the Steelers need RB help.
    Could turn into a Jerome Bettis move.

  8. Correct. Cutting him is not an option. That’s illegal, and possibly premeditated manslaughter. Alternatively, releasing him from his contract before his next offseason bonus is due is well within the optionality available to the front office.

  9. Shouldn’t have structured the contract like that for a RB. Same thing with LA and Gurley. Some teams use a more pay as you go approach with their contracts.

  10. “an idea with a lot of legs” What if the article discussed quarterbacks? Would it not be an idea with a lot of arms?
    Josh – you’re killing me here…

  11. >Watch the Eagles give them a 4th round pick

    The Eagles have Sanders which they used a high pick (2nd round) on last year and a pretty good back up in Boston Scott. Why would they trade for a guy with a $10m/yr price tag? Does that make sense to anyone?

  12. Regardless… what’s done is done with Johnson.

    The Cardinals could salvage this though as soon as Kinsbury is able to realize that Johnson is still a fantastic SLOT receiver.

    He is still a nightmare matchup for most corners and linebackers because of his size and ability to run the entire route tree.

    He never was a swing pass…screen pass rb. He did most of his damage previously when he was spread out wide.

    The Cardinals need to use him precisely like that in 2 RB packages with Drake (or whomever) or Edmonds.

    That presents the most matchup issues… especially right now when the WR corps is relatively thin.

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