Arizona Cardinals considering fallback plan at running back
The Arizona Cardinals could very well get outbid for Kenyan Drake’s services when the free agent signing period gets underway
Back in October, the Arizona Cardinals made a somewhat surprising acquisition. The trade that brought Kenyan Drake to the desert was one that almost no one saw coming. Arizona’s offense benefited greatly from the running back’s arrival, and it’s now the responsibility of the front office to re-sign the talented free agent.
Actually, Drake’s return to the Cards is anything but a done deal. General manager Steve Keim could quite possibly face stiff competition for the 25-year old’s services. In fact, Drake may very well be the most attractive of all of the running backs who are scheduled to hit free agency this spring.
Drake put up eye-popping numbers for the Cardinals in 2019. In eight games, the former Miami Dolphin racked up 643 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Drake also added another 171 yards on the 28 receptions he hauled in as a member of the “Air Raid” scoring attack.
An overall lack of mileage on Drake’s tires is another factor that should work in the 6’1, 211 pounder’s favor on the open market. In four NFL campaigns, the former third-round selection of the Dolphins has touched the football just 600 times. Drake has appeared in 62 professional contests, but has just 24 starts under his belt.
If Drake does get lured away by another club, Arizona’s top fallback option is not a bad one by any means. The still capable David Johnson has one season remaining on the three-year extension he signed in September of 2018. The 28-year old performed admirably last fall (715 yards from scrimmage, six touchdowns) before his starting job was taken away from him by Drake.
Another back in the Cards mix is former Fordham University product Chase Edmonds. The 23-year old showed promise in ’19 (408 total yards, five scores) before a hamstring injury suffered in week eight killed his momentum.
In addition to Drake, there are two other free agent running backs who could be appealing to the Cardinals. Derrick Henry won the league’s rushing title, but it’s highly unlikely that the Tennessee Titans will allow their workhorse to bolt. Melvin Gordon III has been a productive part of the Los Angeles Chargers who could quite possibly benefit greatly from a change of scenery.
It appears that both Drake and Arizona’s management team would like to work out a new deal. The next step is to agree to a contract that will satisfy both parties. Unfortunately, that may be a task that’s more easier said than done.