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James Conner pens heartfelt message to Pittsburgh, Steelers after joining Cardinals

Steelers, James Conner

It didn’t take former Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner to find a new home after a one-day visit to the Arizona Cardinals turned into a one-year deal with the NFC West contenders, as announced Tuesday.

Conner didn’t waste any time thanking the city of Pittsburgh either, as he took to Twitter soon after the signing to applaud his home for nearly a decade:

James Conner spent four seasons with the Pitt Panthers from 2013 to 2016 before being selected by the hometown Steelers with the 105th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. While at Pitt, he’d put together stellar 2014 (1,835 scrimmage yards, 26 touchdowns) and 2016 (1,394 scrimmage yards, 20 touchdowns) seasons—then translate that into work at Heinz Field.

After a minimal role with the Steelers in 2017, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound back started 33 games over the next three seasons, earning a Pro Bowl invitation in 2018 after amassing nearly 1,500 yards from scrimmage.

Injuries have hampered his effectiveness and time on the field over the last two seasons, but Arizona could be the change of scenery needed. He’ll almost certainly be asked to spell a back like Chase Edmonds, and in an offense that includes quarterback Kyler Murray and wideouts DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green, the field will only open more.

An Erie, Pennsylvania native, Conner’s heartfelt goodbye to the Steelers means even more, when one considers his brush with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015 that was discovered after he tore his MCL in the opener of his 2015 college season.

Recently, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport noted Conner underwent successful surgery to repair some turf-toe this offseason, and that he’s expected back on the field by June.