James Conner Makes Free Agency Decision
By Jason Hall
April 13, 2021
James Conner will play for a team outside the Western Pennsylvania area for the first time in his entire life next season.
The veteran running back has agreed to a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, the team announced on its official website Tuesday (April 13) morning.
Conner, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania and a former University of Pittsburgh standout, spent his entire four-year NFL career with the hometown Pittsburgh Steelers before testing free agency this offseason. The agreement was made after multiple reports of Conner visiting with the Cardinals on Monday (April 12.)
The 6-foot-1, 233-pound back enjoyed a career best season in 2018 -- taking over for former starting running back Le'Veon Bell amid a season-long holdout -- recording 973 yards and 12 touchdowns on 215 rushing attempts, as well as 55 receptions for 497 yards and one touchdown to earn a Pro Bowl appearance.
Conner recorded 721 yards and six touchdowns on 169 rushing attempts, as well as 35 receptions for 215 yards in 2020, while splitting playing time with second-year back Benny Snell Jr.
Conner recently underwent surgery to repair a "very moderate turf toe-type injury" that occurred while riding in a recreational vehicle during the offseason, which he is expected to make a full recovery from prior to preseason, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The Cardinals currently have several other running backs on their roster including fellow Pennsylvania native Chase Edmonds, who made four starts in 2020, as well as Eno Benjamin, Jonathan Ward and Khalfani Muhammad.
Arizona is expected by many to target another running back in the 2021 NFL Draft later this month.
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