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After another injury-riddled season, the Steelers didn't even attempt to re-sign running back James Conner. The market wasn't very robust for Conner in free agency with only a few expressing interest. He ended up signing with the Cardinals in April and will compete with Chase Edmonds for the starting running back position in training camp.
While the Steelers reportedly had no interest in re-signing Conner, Mike Tomlin supposedly wanted Conner back.
On the Big Red Rage, the team’s weekly radio show, host Ron Wolfley, who is the brother of, Craig Wolfley, the sideline reporter for the Steelers, revealed that Tomlin was disappointed to see Conner leave Pittsburgh.
“Mike Tomlin absolutely was heartbroken that they couldn’t get something done, heartbroken that James Conner was actually walking out of that organization,” Wolfley said his brother told him via the Cardinals Wire.
Conner played at Pitt in college and spent four seasons with the Steelers, so he was a fan favorite in Pittsburgh. On top of that, he's an inspiration to many because he's a cancer survivor and has done tremendous work in lifting up others who are going through the same battle that he fought back in 2015 and 2016. Conner is a great human being, it's just unfortunate that he couldn't produce at a high level and stay healthy.
With the type of person that Conner is, it's certainly understandable that Tomlin was absolutely heartbroken that they couldn't re-sign him. That's just the tough part of the business, however.