Free agency is flying by, and there have been plenty of notable signings made that should help teams immediately in 2021. One of the more surprising signings was made by the Las Vegas Raiders, as they inked former Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake to a two-year deal that could reportedly reach up to $14.5 million.
It was a surprising move since the Raiders already have several running backs -- including Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs -- but this addition is about adding weaponry, not adding a running back. While Drake doesn't figure to be a "starter" in Vegas, he says he's fine with that. He has bought into the Raiders' vision for him, which was forged by none other than head coach Jon Gruden.
"Coach Gruden was just head and shoulders above everybody in terms of interest in my ability to kind of come in and be a playmaker in a lot of facets of the game, and I really relished in that opportunity to kind of come here and be able to play with Josh because I respect his game a lot, and I'm sure the feeling is mutual," said Drake, via the Raiders' official website. "Obviously, we have our alma mater to thank for that, in Roll Tide Alabama, so I feel like I had to jump at the opportunity to play with him and to be used in a multitude of ways to be able to just get the ball and make plays for this team."
Drake rushed for 955 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging four yards per carry last season with the Cardinals. He also caught 25 of 31 targets for 137 yards. While Drake wasn't much of a receiving back during his short time with the Cardinals, he possesses that kind of potential as a weapon out of the backfield. In fact, during the 2018 season with the Miami Dolphins, Drake caught 53 passes for 477 yards and five touchdowns. With Jacobs holding down the action between the tackles, expect Drake to be catching more passes in Sin City.
"Well, with my abilities, just being a starter quote on quote isn't something that is a high priority in terms of being out there for however many plays," said Drake. "What coach Gruden said that how he was going to use me was just being on the field in a multitude of ways, playing receiver, playing running back. Just having the ability to kind of use my versatility as a weapon in the open field is something that really spoke to me, and to kind of share that role with Josh and him being obviously such a capable back, I feel like it spells success for this team."