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James Conner: Arizona Cardinals agree one-year deal with running back

James Conner became a free agent this offseason following four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers

James Conner will join Chase Edmonds in the Arizona backfield. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Image: James Conner will join Chase Edmonds in the Arizona backfield (AP Photo/Don Wright)

The Arizona Cardinals agreed to terms with former Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner on a one-year deal, the team announced on Tuesday.

Conner, who turns 26 next month, visited the Cardinals on Monday. Financial terms were not announced.

A Pennsylvania native, Conner played collegiately at Pittsburgh and was the Steelers' third-round draft pick in 2017. He later became the team's featured back in the absence of Le'Veon Bell as he sat out the 2018 season.

Conner was named to the Pro Bowl that season after recording 973 yards rushing, 497 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

"I was looking forward to the change," Conner told media in a virtual news conference on Tuesday. "There was no real desire to leave, but certain people talk about being in their hometown and I just feel like this is an opportunity for me to grow, for me to be out here, to meet new people, to see this side of the world.

"It's something new and so I was looking forward to that and I feel I will continue to grow."

Injuries to his quadriceps and shoulder limited him to 10 games and only 715 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns in 2019. Last season, he ran 169 times for 721 yards and added 35 catches for 215 yards with six total touchdowns.

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The Steelers' tight salary cap situation undoubtedly contributed to them not extending re-signing Conner after the expiration of his rookie deal.

In Arizona, he will help to fill the void left by Kenyan Drake, who signed with the Las Vegas Raiders as a free agent.

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