Cardinals RB Johnson picks camaraderie over contract

FILE PHOTO: Sep 10, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is back in his happy place despite not having a coveted contract beyond this season.

“I wanted to be here for teammates, especially the younger guys, the new coaching staff -- let them know I’m all in for the team,” Johnson said Wednesday in an interview televised by NFL Network.

Johnson is entering the final year of his rookie deal but opted not to hold out of training camp because he’s viewed as a “veteran leader” in the locker room.

Johnson was on the field for a portion of offseason workouts and is recovered from a wrist injury that cost him 15 games last season.

“The thing I was mostly excited for was to put the pads on,” Johnson said. “OTAs were good and dandy, but once we started camp and got to hit each other, it was football.”

After earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2016, Johnson suffered a season-ending wrist fracture in Week 1 last season. He totaled just 23 yards on 11 carries and another 67 yards on six receptions. In 2016, he ran for 1,239 yards, collected another 879 yards through the air and scored 21 total touchdowns (including one on a kickoff return).

Johnson is set to earn $1.905 million in 2018.

Johnson remains hopeful the team will extend his contract even with general manager Steve Keim serving a suspension following his DUI arrest.

--Field Level Media