A relative newcomer has supplanted one of the highest-paid tailbacks in the game.
Drake, who arrived last month via trade, has performed well. Johnson, in the second year of a long-term contract, has not.
After missing two games due to injury, Johnson generated two yards on five carries last Sunday in Tampa Bay. Drake had only 35 yards on 10 carries, but his 162 yards from scrimmage generated in his Arizona debut two weeks ago were more than enough to move him past Johnson.
And that’s good news for Drake, who is set to be a free agent in 2020. The Cardinals, as previously explained, are stuck with Johnson in 2020, thanks to a contract that was structured to vest guaranteed money a year early. As a result, Johnson already is due to make $10.2 million, fully guaranteed, next year.
The Cardinals could try to trade him. They could even do a Brock Osweiler-type deal where they give someone a second- or third-round pick to take his contract. Regardless, the Cardinals have a problem looming, if they hope to embrace Drake and move on from Johnson.