Conner (toe) agreed Tuesday with the Cardinals on a one-year, $1.75 million contract, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports. Conner visited with the Cardinals on Monday and reportedly came to terms on a deal less than 24 hours later. After spending the first four years of his career in Pittsburgh, the soon-to-be 26-year-old joins an Arizona backfield where Chase Edmonds is the only other player with considerable NFL experience. Granted, the Cardinals still have plenty of time to add more bodies, particularly during the upcoming NFL Draft. Conner is still rehabbing from offseason toe surgery, but the expectation is he'll be healthy at some point in June.
Conner is recovering from toe surgery but should be healthy in June, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. An unrestricted free agent, Conner is scheduled to meet with the Cardinals on Monday. He doesn't seem to have drummed up much interest otherwise, but a move to Arizona would give him a realistic shot to earn significant playing time, even if he settles for a one-year contract with minimal guarantees. Conner may end up waiting until after the 2021 NFL Draft, at which point team needs will be clearer.
Conner is scheduled to visit the Cardinals, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports. Following the free-agent departure of Kenyan Drake, it's pretty clear that the Cardinals need to bolster their backfield, either through the draft or by signing an experienced option like Conner. For now, Chase Edmonds sits atop the team's running back depth chart, and if Arizona elects to bring in Conner there's a path to a decent role. The 25-year-old is coming off a 2020 campaign in which he logged 169 carries for 721 yards and six TDs to go along with 35 catches for 215 yards in 13 games with the Steelers.
The Steelers could try to re-sign Conner, but they won't necessarily bring him back as their starting running back, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Conner was the team's lead back for the final three season of his rookie contract, starting with a breakout 2018 in which he piled up 1,470 total yards and 13 touchdowns in 13 games. He sunk to 715 yards and seven TDs in 10 games the next season, before putting up 936 yards and six scores across 13 appearances in 2020. The 2017 third-round pick can become an unrestricted free agent in March, two months prior to his 26th birthday. Staying in Pittsburgh might give him his best shot at a starting job, though it would depend on the team's other transactions in free agency and the draft. None of the guys behind Conner in the Pittsburgh backfield -- Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland, Jaylen Samuels -- was able to make a significant impact in 2020, with the team finishing dead last in both rushing yards (1,351) and yards per carry (3.6).
Conner rushed the ball nine times for 37 yards in Week 17 against the Browns. He added five receptions for 25 yards. Conner led the Steelers' backfield with nine carries, though the team attempted only 20 total rushes for the game. He remained involved as a receiver and has combined for 10 receptions and 70 yards across his last two games. Conner ends the regular season with 936 total yards, falling shy of 1,000 for the second consecutive campaign. He will presumably serve as the team's lead back throughout its playoff run prior to entering the offseason as a free agent.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/03||@Los Angeles Rams||5||14.56|
|5||10/10||San Francisco 49ers||7||14.75|
|8||10/28||Green Bay Packers||27||20.33|
|9||11/07||@San Francisco 49ers||7||14.75|
|14||12/13||Los Angeles Rams||5||14.56|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||167||719||7||41||321||1||151|