September 9, 2018 / 2:52 AM / 3 months ago

Cardinals RB Johnson signs 3-year, $39 million extension

Aug 30, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) reacts during the first half against the Denver Broncos at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

A star running back agreed to a contract extension with his team on the eve of the first NFL Sunday of the season.

No, it wasn’t Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fourth-year running back David Johnson agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract extension that will keep him under contract with the Arizona Cardinals through the end of the 2021 season. The deal includes $30 million guaranteed and could reach up to $45 million with incentives, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“Arizona has stability, Johnson has security,” Schefter wrote on his Twitter account.

Johnson, 26, is coming off an injury-shortened season in which he played in only one game. He dislocated his wrist in the opener and was limited to 11 carries for 23 yards.

However, the Cardinals trust that Johnson can return to his Pro Bowl form from two seasons ago, provided that he stays healthy. In 2016, the former second-round pick from Northern Iowa racked up 2,118 yards from scrimmage (1,239 rushing, 879 receiving) to go along with 20 touchdowns (16 rushing, four receiving).

In his career, Johnson has averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 11.5 yards per reception. He has 32 touchdowns (24 rushing, eight receiving) in 33 games.

The deal comes less than 24 hours before the Cardinals open their regular season against the Washington Redskins. The guaranteed money within Johnson’s contract is sure to gain the attention of Bell, who will not play in the Steelers’ opener as he seeks a long-term contract extension.

—Field Level Media

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