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David Johnson to Remain with Arizona Cardinals Despite Rumors of Being Cut

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For a moment in time, David Johnson was seen as the NFL’s top running back, as he lead the entire league in yards from scrimmage back in 2016.

Since then, injuries and ineffectiveness have marred Johnson’s time with the Arizona Cardinals to the point where many began hypothesize if he was expendable.

Last season, Johnson played 13 games for the Cardinals (started nine) and rushed for 345 yards on 94 carries, while also adding 370 receiving yards.

That production is a far cry from his breakout 2016 season, which saw Johnson rush for 1,239 yards and catch 80 passes for an additional 879 yards.

A dislocated wrist cost Johnson his 2017 season and he has not been effective since the injury. Over the past two seasons, Johnson is averaging a combined 3.7 yards per carry.

Still, the Cardinals GM Steve Keim told reporters on Friday that Arizona will not cut Johnson.

While the Cardinals could be serious about keeping the 28-year-old back, this could also be a smokescreen.

Kenyan Drake became the Cardinals go-to back after a midseason trade from the Miami Dolphins last year and is now a free agent.

Drake averaged 5.2 yards per carry in his eight games with the Cardinals, proving to be a more effective back in both the rushing and passing games.

The chances of the Cardinals paying Drake the $12.5 million franchise tag and Johnson over $14 million if he makes the roster are rather slim.

Instead, Keim could be keeping his options open in hopes of coming to terms on a contract with Drake and a trade that sends Johnson elsewhere around the league.

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Baker Mayfield Looking to Shed Some Weight This Offseason

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After being selected with the No. 1 overall pick of 2018 NFL Draft, Baker Mayfield was a sensation for the Cleveland Browns during his rookie season.

The Browns had only won one game over the two years prior to his arrival. Yet Mayfield lead his team to a 6-7 record in his starts, making him the instant face of the franchise.

On the heels of that great season, and with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., Mayfield was supposed to soon lead the Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

Unfortunately for Cleveland, the 2019 season was a disaster.

Mayfield was a big part of the regression of the Browns as he did not have a great season as their signal-caller.

After breaking Peyton Manning’s rookie touchdown record with 27 TD passes a year prior, Mayfield threw just 22 touchdowns this season, playing in three more games.

He was also second behind Jameis Winston for most interceptions thrown in the NFL with 21.

In an effort to get back to his better play of the past, Mayfield is focusing on losing some weight this offseason to be slimmer and faster for the upcoming season.

After watching his decline in play, it is fair to wonder if Mayfield came into his sophomore season a little complacent following his big rookie year.

Mayfield was one of the NFL’s top featured athletes when it came to endorsements and may have lost a little bit of focus on his craft.

Now it appears the chip is back on Mayfield’s shoulder once again, as he looks to prove all the doubters wrong and lead the Browns to a much better season in 2020.

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Carolina Panthers Plan to Stick with Cam Newton as Starting Quarterback

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The Carolina Panthers are going to be entering a new era next season, with Matt Rhule taking over as their head coach after Ron Rivera was fired midseason.

Rivera was at the helm in Carolina dating back to 2011, taking the team to a Super Bowl in 2015.

There has been a lot of debate as to whether the Panthers may move on from the league MVP of that 2015 season as well.

Yet as of now, it appears that Cam Newton is staying put in Carolina.

Newton was limited to just two games played last season due to a foot injury, bringing a lot of concerns of his future health to the surface.

Dual-threat quarterbacks typically age a lot faster than others and no one has taken more hits from that position that Newton since being draft No. 1 overall back in 2011.

The vote of confidence from the Panthers on Newton now could be two-fold. They may feel his injury is rehabbing well, but they also don’t have a lot of options until he can prove healthy.

Other NFL teams are going to be hesitant to trade a significant package for a quarterback that is a huge question mark going into next season. Especially with the sheer depth of options in free agency.

It would also be foolish for Carolina to give Newton anything but a vote of confidence at this point, as any indication that they are ready to move on would only lessen his trade value.

Still, Newton could play a big role in the helping the Panthers remain competitive next season.

After going 5-11 without Newton last season, the Panthers find themselves in the top-10 of the NFL Draft for just the second time since 2012.

With the seventh overall pick, a quarterback like Justin Herbert may be on the table for Carolina to select.

It will be very interesting to see how the Panthers navigate this offseason and whether contingency plans begin to be put in place for life after Cam Newton.

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Everson Griffen Opts Out of Contract with the Minnesota Viking to Become Free Agent

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Over the past decade there has been few pass rushers more dynamic than Everson Griffen.

Griffen was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft and has since turned into a four-time Pro Bowler.

Now he is set to maybe wear another jersey for the first time in his career, as Griffen has opted out of his contract with the Vikings.

Through 10 seasons in Minnesota, Griffen has 74.5 sacks, 176 quarterback hits, 86 tackles for a loss and 355 total tackles.

There have been few players in the league that are harder to block than Griffen and he now gets the chance to test free agency.

After voiding his lucrative $13.5 million salary for next season, Griffen is likely looking to sign a contract of similar value through free agency.

At 32 years old, Griffen could be looking for a three-year contract worth somewhere around $45 million.

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