Kenyan Drake is headed to Sin City. The former Dolphins and Cardinals running back has come to terms with the Raiders on a two-year deal that can reach up to $14.5 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal also includes $11 million guaranteed.
A third-round pick in the 2016 draft, Drake spent three-plus seasons in Miami before he was traded to Arizona midway through the 2019 season. After having moderate success with the Dolphins, Drake averaged over 100 all-purpose yards and one touchdown a game during his first eight games in Arizona. Last season (his only full season with the Cardinals), Drake rushed for 955 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging four yards per carry. He also caught 25 of 31 targets for 137 yards. Drake appeared in 15 games last season despite dealing with a nagging ankle injury.
Drake, who played under the transition tag last season, had hoped to sign a long-term deal with the Cardinals, who will now begin the process of finding Drake's replacement.
"With them tagging me, it wasn't really a slap in the face or anything," Drake said last offseason during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "They wanted to get a gauge on my market and everything happened how it did. With me signing the tag, it put me in a pretty decent position from a financial standpoint, especially amongst my fellow running backs. I'm fortunate they saw in me what I see in myself, and hopefully we can continue to work on a long-term deal in the future."
In Las Vegas, Drake will join a backfield that already includes Pro Bowler Josh Jacobs, who last season rushed for 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games. Given the possibility of a 17-game season, it's clear that Raiders coach Jon Gruden was looking to add another starting-caliber running back to his roster in order to cut down on Jacobs' workload.
The Raiders aren't the only team that has embraced the two-running back philosophy. The Buccaneers, after all, won the Super Bowl with Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II sharing carries. More emphasis on the running back position should also help take some of the pressure off of Derek Carr, who is hoping to lead the Raiders back to the postseason for the first time since 2016.