The Arizona Cardinals are placing the transition tag on running back Kenyan Drake, the team announced on Monday. Drake was acquired from the Miami Dolphins ahead of the trade deadline in exchange for a sixth-round pick. According to Spotrac, the transition tag would cost the team $8.4 million in 2020.
The transition tag gives Arizona the right of first refusal. Another team can offer Drake a contract, and if he agrees to the deal then Arizona would have seven days to match the terms. The Cardinals would not receive any compensation if they refuse to match a contract offer for Drake.
The 26-year-old missed two games last season. In eight games with Arizona, he recorded 123 carries for 643 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns. He also had 28 receptions for 171 yards. In the previous six games in Miami, he recorded 47 carries for 174 yards (3.7 yards per carry) as well as 22 receptions for 174 yards. Drake was a third-round pick out of Alabama in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Arizona has been said to be exploring opportunities to part with veteran running back David Johnson. With the addition of Drake, the Cardinals are spending the second most of any team in the NFL on the running back position (approximately $23.4 million). Only the San Francisco 49ers ($24.1 million) spend more.
The Cardinals finished the season with a 5-10-1 record and significant optimism created by quarterback Kyler Murray. They rank in the bottom half of the NFL in terms of salary cap space. The secondary, offensive line and wide receiver unit are in the most need of an upgrade.