Steve Keim thinks 2019 season will be chip on David Johnson’s shoulder

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Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim has already said that cutting running back David Johnson isn’t an option for the team because of the financial implications, which means that their options are keeping him or trading him.

The size of Johnson’s contract will make him difficult to trade without the Cardinals either adding a draft pick or paying off part of the pact to have Johnson play elsewhere, which may be why Keim discussed Johnson as part of the team for the 2020 season at a Tuesday press conference from the Scouting Combine.

“He’s a guy who’s shown he can do it,” Keim said, via the team’s website. “I think because of the success that Kenyan [Drake] had, because of the success Chase [Edmonds] had, I think that’s something that will be a chip on his shoulder. He’s going to want to come back and play well and again because of his skillset, he’s such a big talented athlete, we certainly think he can jump back in and do some good things for us.”

Drake is headed for free agency and his return to Arizona could complicate Johnson’s chances of jumping back in given how much better Drake played once he joined the team in a trade with the Dolphins. Should he find a better deal elsewhere, Johnson may be in line for another crack as the Cardinals’ top back.