"Cutting him is not an option," general manager Steve Keim said Friday in an appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Johnson has two seasons remaining on the three-year, $39-million extension he inked in September 2018. Releasing him would cost the Cardinals $16.2 million in dead cap, though a trade would result in a more manageable cap fee of $6 million.
Johnson rushed for 1,239 yards with 16 touchdowns and caught 80 passes for 879 yards and four touchdowns during his breakout 2016 season, but he hasn't come close to replicating that production since. He played only one game in 2017 due to injury and averaged 3.6 and 3.7 yards per carry in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The 28-year-old lost his featured role once Arizona acquired Kenyan Drake from the Miami Dolphins last season. Drake averaged 5.2 yards per carry in eight outings with the Cardinals but is a free agent.