James Conner’s contract n ° 1 in 2021 RB Free Agency
James Conner # 30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during warm-ups before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on November 22, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves / Getty Images)
The signing of running back James Conner for a one-year, $ 1,750,000 contract was one of many moves in a busy free agency for the Arizona Cardinals in 2021.
Football exteriors ranked the Cardinals new running back contract as the best in value this offseason in their 2021 free agency cost-benefit analysis.
Last year for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Conner played 13 games and started in 11, the second most starts of his NFL career.
Conner, 26, ran for 721 yards on 169 rushing attempts and caught 35 receptions for 215 yards with six total touchdowns in 2020.
Running back contracts have changed dramatically in the past five seasons alone; the days when someone like DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart signed for more than 6% of a team’s cap, or nearly $ 11 million in today’s money, are far behind us. Still, less than $ 2 million a year for Conner is great value, even if the model is skipping a bit too much.
Conner over the past three seasons has the 24th most adjusted yards in defense over substitution, according to Football Outsiders.
In his four-year NFL career, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Conner started 33 games and rushed for over 2,302 yards and tallied for 963 receiving yards.
Conner is competing with Chase Edmonds for the running back position in Arizona.
Chris Carson, Leonard Fournette, Kenyan Drake, Taiwan Jones and Devontae Booker complete the top six of the 2021 free agent half-race contracts after Conner.