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Cards RB David Johnson encouraged by contract talks

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With Le'Veon Bell set to play under the franchise tag again and Todd Gurley getting paid mucho dinero, David Johnson sits as the next running back seeking to figure out his contract situation.

The Arizona Cardinals tailback told reporters on Monday that he is "encouraged" by contract talks regarding a potential new deal. Johnson admitted, however, that missing 15 games last season likely played a role in not getting paid thus far.

"I think that's what it is -- I didn't play," Johnson said, via the team's official website. "I didn't play last year. I was hoping my production from my second year and what I did my first year would help out, but the NFL is what have you done for me lately, so hopefully, I can prove it once the season starts."

Johnson previously skipped minicamp in an effort to get a new contract but reported to training camp as a good-faith move to help move negotiations along. It's unclear whether general manager Steve Keim's suspension has delayed the team locking down the playmaking running back.

Coming off a season-ending wrist injury in 2017, Johnson looks fresh and ready to go. He carried the ball twice in the Cards' preseason opener, both times popping off for a 14-yard gain. If his initial play is any indication, the 26-year-old looks to have a legit shot to hit his goal of 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a single season. Whether he threatens that landmark with a new contract remains to be seen.

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