The Cardinals said bringing James Conner back was a priority, and the running back had said he wanted to stay.
The sides made sure that happened Monday, when the veteran agreed to a new three-year contract as the free agent negotiating period just underway in the NFL.
Conner led the team with 18 touchdowns in 2021, along with more than 1,100 yards rushing and receiving. But he also gave the team an element it had been missing, a big back that could aid in goal-line and short-yardage situations. Conner also brought with him a toughness that also helped on and off the field. He made the Pro Bowl after signing
"I had no goals and really no expectations," Conner said last season. "I knew I was going to give me best self every day. I knew it would take time to get comfortable with the guys and get into my role.
"Now, I feel brand new."
ESPN reported the deal is worth $13.5 million guaranteed and $16M in the first two years.
The Cardinals were only able to keep half of their running back tandem. Chase Edmonds will reportedly receive a two-year deal to sign with the Dolphins, leaving an opening for Eno Benjamin to step into a much larger role.
Players can't sign with new teams until free agency officially opens Wednesday at 1 p.m. Arizona time, but teams can continue to sign their own players at any time.