The Arizona Cardinals have emerging star David Johnson, but behind the third-year back out of Northern Iowa, the franchise has a whole bunch of question marks in its backfield.
Though general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have insisted they're satisfied with the team's depth behind Johnson, on Wednesday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Cardinals had extended an offer to free agent running back LeGarrette Blount before he agreed to sign with the Eagles.
Rapoport reported Wednesday the Eagles agreed to a one-year contract with Blount that's worth a maximum of $2.8 million for the 2017 season, which indicates Blount rejected a smaller offer from Arizona.
The Cardinals and the New York Giants were the two teams Blount reportedly spurned to sign with the Eagles after the New England Patriots put a tender on Blount that would have capped his salary at $2.1 million should he have returned to the Patriots this season.
The 6-foot-1, 245-pound back set career highs last season with 1,161 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns, but rushed for just 3.9 yards per carry, the second lowest mark of his seven-year NFL career.
The Cardinals have already suggested they plan on leaning heavily on Johnson this season, which is one of the reasons free agent Chris Johnson is not expected to return to the franchise in 2017. Chris Johnson has publicly stated his intention to find a team that will allow him to share more of the load, whereas the Cardinals do not appear interested in cutting David Johnson's opportunities.
Behind David Johnson, Arizona has six other running backs on its 90-man roster, including Andre Ellington, who is transitioning to wide receiver this offseason. Because Ellington is not expected to play in the backfield, the most seasoned returner behind Johnson is Utah State product Kerwynn Williams, who has just 98 rushing attempts and 545 rushing yards in his career.
Arizona did attempt to address its running back depth through the draft, as the Cardinals added North Carolina product T.J. Logan in the fifth round. Still, Logan never ran for more than 600 yards in a single season with the Tar Heels, and is expected to provide more help for the franchise on special teams.
The Cardinals' decision to reportedly extend an offer to Blount suggests the team is not done building its backfield depth if Keim and Arians believe they can find the right fit for a player in Arizona's offense.