Now, the details from his 2021 contract have finally emerged. With the figures on this deal, it’s safe to say the Cardinals got a pretty good bargain.
According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Conner signed a one-year contract worth a fully-guaranteed $1.25 million plus a $500,000 signing bonus.
Compensation update: Cardinals gave former Steelers’ RB James Conner a one-year, fully-guaranteed, $1.25 million contract that included a $500,000 signing bonus, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2021
Getting a running back of Conner’s quality for this price is a solid find for the Arizona franchise — especially considering they were desperate to fill out a sparse backfield heading into this offseason.
Last month, 2020 Cardinals leading rusher Kenyan Drake signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency. With Drake gone, the team was left with Chase Edmonds as the only running back capable of posting decent numbers. This past season, Edmonds finished third in total rushing (behind QB Kyler Murray) with just 448 yards and four touchdowns.
Conner will join the Arizona roster as part of a one-two backfield punch, likely notching slightly fewer carries than Edmonds.
In 2020, the former Steelers back led Pittsburgh in rushing with 721 yards and six touchdowns. Just two years earlier in 2018, Conner logged a Pro Bowl appearance after rushing for a career-high 973 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Conner is one of a few solid signings made by the Cardinals already this offseason, including big names like veteran defensive end JJ Watt and wide receiver AJ Green.
With a growing roster and a wealth of potential, Arizona seems like a pretty good place to be in the NFL right now.