Cardinals will have to do some things to trade David Johnson
The Arizona Cardinals have already made it clear that David Johnson won’t be released this offseason, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of him being traded. Ahead of the offseason, Arizona will have to do some things to trade Johnson.
Prior to the 2018 season, Johnson signed a three-year, $39 million extension with the Cardinals. At the time, Johnson was just two years removed from a spectacular 2016 season, where he recorded 2,118 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns.
However, injuries have taken a toll on Johnson as he’s missed 18 games in the last three seasons. Even in 2018, when he started in all 16 games, the All-Pro running back saw his production decrease drastically as he averaged a career-low 4.5 yards per touch.
As for this season, he continued to deal with injuries and was ineffective when he was on the field. Midway through the season, Kenyan Drake actually supplanted Johnson as the team’s starting running back.
After three straight seasons of declining play, the Cardinals are uncertain about what to do with Johnson. Despite GM Steve Keim ruling out cutting him, Arizona could try to manufacture a trade.
Entering the offseason, Johnson has $10.2 million in guarantees that are owed to him. Regardless of where he plays in 2020, that money is already his. Given that, the Cardinals may have to convince a team to take some of his contract on. At the same time, Arizona would also have to make an agreement to pay part of his salary.
On the other hand, the Cardinals could attach a draft pick to Johnson for a team to take on his entire contract. While Johnson could remain with the Cardinals next season, it would make sense for them to try and trade him. With that being said, trading him is going to be harder than it seems.