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Cardinals release veteran RB Chris Johnson

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  • By Nick Shook NFL.com
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The Cardinals called on Chris Johnson in a pinch. Now he's been pinched.

Arizona released the veteran running back on Tuesday, the team announced, after acquiring Adrian Peterson in a trade with the New Orleans Saints.

Via the trade, Peterson has found freedom from the minimal carries and massive frustration that was his time in New Orleans, in which he shared a backfield with younger runners Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Nearly a month ago, it was evident to Johnson that Peterson deserved more chances to make plays for the Saints.

Now, he'll be receiving more touches as a Cardinal, in Johnson's place.

Chris Johnson joined the Cardinals in 2015 and was an important part of Arizona's three-man backfield of him, David Johnson and Andre Ellington that helped the Cardinals claim the NFC West crown. Arizona was rolling on the ground during that season until it lost both Chris Johnson and Ellington in the same game, leading to the ascension of David Johnson to the primary role.

Chris Johnson returned to the Cardinals in 2016, appearing in four games without consequence, rushing for just 95 yards on 25 carries. He was a man without a team this season until David Johnson suffered a serious wrist injury in Week 1, creating yet another need at the position for Arizona.

During his prime, he was one of the league's best, but this was likely the 32-year-old Johnson's final dance with an NFL team. His 2.5 yards per carry on 45 attempts and release after five weeks from a team that obviously needed help at running back likely seals it for a tailback who once broke 2,000 yards rushing in a single season.

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