There is a reason the Arizona Cardinals organization has long been called “Pittsburgh West”. Going back to when former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was the head coach, the Cardinals have always seemed to stock pile former Steelers on their roster.
Names of players who played for the Steelers, and went to the Cardinals is a long one. Players like:
The list could go on, but there is a new name to add, and that is James Conner. According to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, the former Steelers running back is heading west.
The @AZCardinals continued to pick up veteran free agents as they have signed former Steelers RB @JamesConner_ one day after he flew in for a visit. @NFLonFOX— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 13, 2021
Conner is one of the few remaining Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) of the Steelers lengthy free agent list. The other big name still out there is left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. Will this impact the Steelers’ compensatory pick formula?
A lot goes into that...
Until the amount of the contract is known, it can’t be determined if the loss of Conner will help the Steelers when it comes to the compensatory formula for 2022. According to overthecap.com, a player’s annual salary would have to be at least $2 million per season in order to land in the top 35% of the league and qualify them as a compensatory free agent. This is before any playing time in 2021 would factor into the equation.
Conner, who played his college football at the University of Pittsburgh and is from the Eerie, PA area, was a fan favorite for multiple reasons. His battle back from cancer in college was remarkable, and he turned a dire situation into an NFL career. He was a Pro Bowl running back, and despite his injury history I think I speak for all Steelers fans when I say we all wish him the best of luck.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the rest of NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.