Could the Cardinals be in the market for the top RBs in free agency?

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Jess Root
·3 min read
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With free agency less than a month away, the Arizona Cardinals could be in the market for a running back. Kenyan Drake is scheduled to be a free agent and the only backs left on the roster currently are Chase Edmonds, Jonathan Ward and Enbo Benjamin, both rookies in 2020.

Could they be in the market for the top running backs in the market?

Six backs make Touchdown Wire’s list of the top 101 free agents this year. How likely are the Cardinals to be in the mix for each player?


Aaron Jones

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Jones is the top guy available. Two seasons ago, he led the league with 16 rushing touchdowns. He rushed for more than 1,100 yards in 2020, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. However, he will likely be out of their price range, especially if he comes anywhere near his estimated market value of more than $14 million per year.

Kenyan Drake

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals know what they have in Drake and Kliff Kingsbury is a big fan. He wasn't as spectacular as he was in 2019, but the Cardinals were 6-2 when he rushed for at least 60 yards. He finished with 955 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. He made nearly $8.5 million last season. Will they be willing to pay him that much again? It doesn't seem like it. If the price tag comes down, which it could, considering the cap limitations there will be for all teams, he could be back.

James White

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White is basically a receiving back. He only had 35 carries in 2020. He had 49 catches for 375 yards. He has never had more than 94 rushing attempts in a season, so he probably wouldn't be as good a match for the Cardinals because Chase Edmonds already is great as the pass-catching threat out of the backfield.

Chris Carson

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Carson is intriguing, considering he has been in the division for a while. He has some durability issues, as he has not yet played 16 games in a season and was limited to 141 carries in 2020 even though he played in 12 games. But he offers both size and speed, despite some ball control issues last season. He would be a great complement to Edmonds and his estimated market value is $7.4 million per year, which is less than Drake is estimated at.

James Conner

\Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Conner is another with a history of injuries. He has missed at least three games each of the last three seasons. he had 721 yards and six touchdowns last season for the Steelers. His estimated value is $5.4 million. At his size, he offers a little more strength for short-yardage situations. He doesn't have the breakaway speed Drake does but has been productive.

Jamaal Williams

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Williams makes a lot of sense for the Cardinals, especially if they believe Edmonds can take on a larger role. Williams has been productive as Jones' backup, filling in at times as a starter. He has size and strength and would make a nice complement for Edmonds. He would not be too expensive. Listen to the latest from Cards Wire's Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Latest show:

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