Cardinals focused on running backs

April, 22, 2009
4/22/09
3:20
PM ET

Posted by ESPN's Pedro Gomez

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals have been eyeing what might be their biggest need -- an explosive running back. With the release of 10-year veteran Edgerrin James expected very soon, possibly as early as Monday, the Cardinals have already had in-house interviews with three potential draft picks, hoping one could still be available when Arizona selects 31st in the first round.

Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells, UConn's Donald Brown and Iowa's Shonn Greene were all invited to the team's facility in recent weeks to meet with coach Ken Whisenhunt, general manager Rod Graves and other members of the front office.

The Cardinals did not bring in Georgia's Knowshon Moreno for an interview, probably because it's highly doubtful he will be available that low in the first round, though trading up remains a possibility.

James, who fell out of favor with the coaching staff during the second half of the regular season and was benched the majority of that time, is due $5 million for the coming season. He became the team's biggest run producer during the Cardinals' run to the Super Bowl, but he recently said he's ready to move on.

In what could be a telling sign of James' status with the Cardinals, Graves said the team will decide after the draft whether James will be asked to remain away from the first mandatory minicamp the following weekend.

Pedro Gomez is ESPN's bureau reporter based in Phoenix.

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