Running back Tim Hightower agreed to a three-year contract Thursday.
The Cardinals came to terms with the first of their seven draft picks Thursday when fifth-round selection Tim Hightower, the running back out of Richmond, agreed to a three-year contract.
Financial terms were not disclosed, and for Hightower, it didn't matter too much anyway, finding out after he had gotten back to his hotel for the day that the contract was ready to be signed.
"I wasn't really thinking about it," Hightower said. "I guess it is good that now I can concentrate on the football aspect of things."
The Cards were expected to draft a running back this year with starter Edgerrin James turning 30 near the beginning of training camp. But the team passed on Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall in the first round in favor of cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
The team went after higher rated players in subsequent draft picks like defensive end Calais Campbell in the second round and receiver Early Doucet in the third. Still needing a back, the team took Hightower, who wasn't even invited to the NFL's scouting combine
Hightower ran for nearly 2,000 yards as a senior at Richmond and scored 20 touchdowns. Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley likened him to Cowboys' Pro Bowler Marion Barber on draft day.
"I feel each practice my confidence rising a little more," Hightower said. "It makes it easier when you know what you are doing."
Hightower is battling Marcel Shipp, J.J. Arrington and Steve Baylark to be James' backup.
"Edge and Marcel and J.J. are doing a great job helping me out and teaching," Hightower said.
Contact Darren Urban at email@example.com. Posted 6/5/08.