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Cardinals GM isn't waiting out David Johnson deal

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David Johnson will return to the playing field in Week 1 versus the Washington Redskins, but he won't have a new deal.

The Arizona Cardinals and the running back have had contracts talks, but the two sides are not expected to come to an agreement before Sunday's opener, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday.

The door remains open for a deal to get done during the season, Rapoport added.

Last we heard from Johnson regarding his contract status back in mid-August, when the running back said he was "encouraged" by talks. Alas, he will enter the season playing on the final year of his rookie deal, slated to make $1.88 million in 2018. The Cardinals could use the franchise tag in 2019 on Johnson if a long-term deal isn't struck.

Johnson hoped to capitalize on Todd Gurley snagging a four-year, $60 million payday from the Los Angeles Rams, which reset the running back market. The Cards back skipped minicamp earlier in the offseason in hopes of getting a new deal, but attended training camp and preseason.

Johnson told NFL Network's Jim Trotter last month that he feels somewhat forgotten in the discussion of young running backs poised for a big payday.

"I definitely feel like people seem to have forgotten about me. You hear people talking about Todd Gurley, Zeke Elliott and Lev Bell -- and they're great backs. But then you notice that you're not hearing your name or people are not talking about you."

Coming off a season-ending wrist injury that relegated him to just one game last season, Johnson is hoping to remind the Cardinals he's still the player who nearly went for a 1,000/1,000 season in 2016.

"Definitely a better No. 31 than in 2016," Johnson said, referring to his jersey number. "You can expect a guy who is going to be able to do that stuff and more."

General manager Steve Keim told 98.7 FM Arizona Sports on Friday that he isn't waiting for Johnson to prove he can stay healthy.

"Not at all," Keim said, via the team's official website. "I'm convinced David is the guy we want to keep as a core member of this team."

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