General manager Steve Keim said Wednesday that the Cardinals want to sign Drake to a long-term contract.
Drake signed a one-year transition tender for $8.4 million in late March, creating a July 15 deadline for any negotiations on a longer contract. The Cardinals also are talking with DeAndre Hopkins' agent about a new deal, but Keim suggested the team is mostly focused on the upcoming draft and thus more likely to finalize extensions after the draft concludes April 25. The 26-year-old Drake is primed to head the Arizona backfield in 2020, with only Chase Edmonds and D.J. Foster behind him on the current depth chart. The Cardinals could be in the market for a running back in the middle or late rounds of the draft.
Drake signed his transition tag tender Saturday according to the Cardinals organization.
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise considering the transition tag allowed for the Cardinals to match any sort of offer Drake might have received on the open market. The former Dolphins tailback will headline a new-look offense that now features explosive wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and, perhaps more importantly in terms of Drake's potential production, one that will be absent David Johnson, who was sent to the Texans in the deal that netted the All-Pro wideout.
The Cardinals are placing a transition tag on Drake, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
The transition tag doesn't involve any draft pick compensation but does allow the team to match any offer sheet. It's a strong indication the Cardinals intend to keep Drake, be it through their own negotiations or by matching a deal he signs with another team. Of course, there's always some chance -- however small -- that the running back gets a huge offer the Cardinals aren't willing to match.
Drake and the Cardinals have engaged in contract talks, with GM Steve Keim saying he hopes to re-sign the running back, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Keim also commented on David Johnson, whose $10.2 million base salary for 2020 is fully guaranteed. Specifically, Keim said Johnson won't be released this offseason, adding that the 28-year-old should still have a key role on offense even if he isn't the starter. There aren't many teams in the modern NFL giving large contracts to multiple running backs, but the Cardinals arguably could make it work while they have QB Kyler Murray on a rookie deal. Drake certainly made his case for a handsome payday, averaging 80.4 rushing yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry in eight appearances for the Cardinals. He was limited to a 6.1-yard average on 28 catches, but that's largely because his average depth of reception was 3.2 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Johnson, on the other hand, had an average depth of 4.1 yards beyond the LOS on his 36 receptions, producing 10.3 YPR.
Drake ran for 60 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and caught three of four targets for 23 receiving yards during Sunday's 31-24 loss to the Rams.
The 25-year-old back concluded his late-season scoring surge during Arizona's 2019 finale, accounting for his seventh TD since Week 15 while also reaching 5.0 yards per carry for a third straight game. Drake relegated former Cardinals workhorse David Johnson to a bit role over the latter half of 2019, amassing 18.9 offensive touches per game to Johnson's stunningly low total of 3.3 touches per appearance between Weeks 9 and 17. While Johnson's contract extends through 2021, it seems extremely unlikely that the team would deploy him as the lead back next season given his disintegrating role over the past two months. Drake, meanwhile, will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but the Cardinals may very well look to secure his services long term as result of the back's prolific production during the late stages of an otherwise mediocre year for Arizona's offense.
Drake carried the ball 24 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns and caught three of four targets for 18 yards in Sunday's 27-13 win over the Seahawks.
The mid-season trade that brought Drake over from Miami in exchange for a conditional Day Three pick in the 2020 draft is looking like a steal for Arizona. The fourth-year running back has erupted for 303 rushing yards and six TDs over the last two games, grabbing a firm hold of the starting job over David Johnson in the process. Drake will look to finish the season on a high note, and increase his asking price in free agency, in Week 17's road clash with the Rams.
Drake rushed 22 times for 137 yards and four touchdowns in Sunday's 38-24 win over the Browns. He also caught his only target for nine yards.
Drake dominated while earning his first win of this season. The tailback first took an option pitch from Kyler Murray five yards into the end zone, then converted one-yard plunges on his next two scores. His fourth TD came on an untouched 17-yard scamper, capping the best performance of his four-year career. With Drake serving as Arizona's bell cow, David Johnson was limited to just three carries on the day, further solidifying the pecking order in the Cardinals' backfield ahead of a Week 16 trip to play the Seahawks.
Drake ran for 37 yards on 11 carries and hauled in all three of his targets for 30 yards during Sunday's 23-17 loss to Pittsburgh.
The mid-season acquisition Drake continues to work ahead of long-time Cardinals workhorse David Johnson, as Drake's 11 rush attempts in Week 14 outpaced Johnson and Chase Edmonds' combined total by seven. Johnson did have the enormous boost of a 24-yard receiving touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Drake has still garnered a higher number of carries in each of the Cardinals' past four games following a breakout Week 9 performance in which Drake racked up 162 yards from scrimmage as Johnson sat with an ankle injury. Drake remains a starting consideration in deeper leagues given Arizona's upcoming Week 15 matchup against a Browns defense that has conceded 4.7 yards per carry on the season.
Drake carried the ball 13 times for 31 yards and caught two of five targets for 20 yards in Sunday's 34-7 loss to the Rams.
The Cards were down 20-0 by halftime, forcing them to largely abandon the running game, but Drake wasn't able to make much impact as a receiver either. David Johnson worked his way back into the game plan in this one, getting six touches to Drake's 15, but he wasn't any more effective. Drake will face another tough test in Week 14 against a stingy Steelers defense that just held Nick Chubb under 80 scrimmage yards.
Drake carried the ball 16 times for 67 yards while catching six of seven targets for 13 yards in Sunday's 36-26 loss to the 49ers.
Meanwhile, David Johnson failed to touch the ball at all in this game, as Christian Kirk got the only other non-Kyler Murray carry for the Cards on a jet sweep. Drake has quickly established himself as Arizona's No. 1 RB since being liberated from Miami, totaling 283 scrimmage yards and a TD in three games for his new team, but it remains to be seen if he'll continue to dominate backfield touches coming out of the Cards' Week 12 bye.
Drake is expected to be the Cardinals' starting running back for Sunday's game at San Francisco, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
In his first game working with David Johnson last Sunday in Tampa Bay, Drake worked ahead of the long-time Cardinal and even got all the RB reps in the fourth quarter, finishing with 16 touches and 41 yards from scrimmage on a 64 percent offensive snap share. Meanwhile, Johnson had six, 10 and 43, respectively. On Friday, coach Kliff Kingsbury wouldn't commit to a starter between the pair and noted the backfield will be "by committee" Week 11, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com, with packages planned for both running backs. Drake seemingly will get the first shot against a tough 49ers defense, but he and Johnson are slated to have roles throughout the contest.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury said he will utilize a backfield committee in Sunday's game against the 49ers that includes packages for both Drake and David Johnson, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
Drake led the backfield in the Week 10 loss to Tampa Bay, playing 64 percent of the snaps and garnering 16 touches while Johnson was limited to 43 percent and six touches, fumbling on one of them. A report earlier Friday suggested Drake was getting most of the work with the first-team offense during practice, but Kingsbury downplayed any notion of Johnson having his role further reduced. Drake steamrolled this same Niners team for 162 scrimmage yards just a couple weeks ago, albeit with both Johnson and Chase Edmonds (hamstring) inactive due to injuries. Johnson is no longer listed on the injury report, though he didn't exactly look spry last week. In any case, Drake is shaping up as the better Week 11 fantasy play, even if a starter-level workload isn't assured.
Drake worked with the first-team offense -- ahead of David Johnson -- during Friday's practice, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
Drake had the advantage in snaps, touches and production during last week's 30-27 loss to Tampa Bay, though neither running back found much open real estate against one of the toughest run defenses in the league. Johnson did himself no favors with a lost fumble in the fourth quarter, but Drake was getting most of the work even before that happened. The former Dolphin is the favorite to lead Arizona's backfield this coming Sunday in San Francisco, albeit with Johnson likely mixing in to some extent. Meanwhile, Chase Edmonds (hamstring) is set to miss another game, potentially aiming to return after a Week 12 bye.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury admitted he went with Drake as the Cardinals' only running back during the fourth quarter of Sunday's 30-27 loss in Tampa Bay, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports. "The last couple weeks, practice, games [he] has brought a little pop to the run game, the pass game, and we felt like he was the guy to try and close the game out with," Kingsbury said Monday.
Drake outsnapped (64 to 43 percent of the offensive plays) and got more touches (16 to six) than Johnson, who didn't take the field following his fumble late in the third quarter. As mentioned by Kingsbury, the decision seems to be a temporary thing, but he also wouldn't delve into how the RB reps will break down moving forward. The Cardinals were without Chase Edmonds on Sunday, and if/when he gets past his hamstring injury, Kingsbury may have a quandary on his hands as it pertains to his backfield.
Drake rushed 10 times for 35 yards and brought in six of seven targets for six yards in the Cardinals' 30-27 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Drake came nowhere near the production he'd managed in an impressive Week 9 debut against the 49ers, as he ran head-long into an even tougher run defense in that of the Buccaneers. His usage through the air was encouraging, but as his receiving yardage total indicates, the targets he saw were exclusively of the short-area variety. Drake did double up backfield mate David Johnson in carries, but it will be difficult to predict how the division of labor will be handled in a Week 11 matchup versus San Francisco.
Drake rushed 15 times for 110 yards and a touchdown and also secured all four targets for 52 yards in the Cardinals' 28-25 loss to the 49ers on Thursday. He also caught a two-point conversion pass.
The odds were stacked against a successful Drake debut coming in. There was naturally the matchup against the elite 49ers defense, as well as the fact it would be difficult to find an offense more incompatible to a three-day cram session (the running back was traded to Arizona on Monday) than coach Kliff Kingsbury's air raid attack. However, Drake's fresh legs and apparently buoyant mindset after being dealt out of Miami combined to produce a spectacular performance, one in which the fourth-year back posted his best rushing total since Week 14 of the 2017 season. Drake also put his impressive receiving skills on display in the fast-paced scheme, and for at least one game, provided solace to Cardinals coaches and fans alike that he can keep the team's ground attack afloat in the event of any further absences on the part of David Johnson (ankle) and Chase Edmonds (hamstring). Drake will look to build on Thursday's effort against the Buccaneers in Week 10, although the status of both Johnson and Edmonds will help determine who large Drake's workload might be in that contest.
Drake is expected to receive "major run" in his Cardinals debut Thursday against the 49ers, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
The Cardinals are expected to be without their top two options out of the backfield in Week 9, as Chase Edmonds (hamstring) has been ruled out, while David Johnson (ankle) is questionable but unlikely to play. Those likely absences leave Drake -- who was acquired from the Dolphins on Monday -- Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris as the lone healthy options at running back. Considering Zenner and Morris only joined the roster one week earlier, they won't hold much of an advantage in terms of system experience, giving Drake a good chance to lead the Arizona running game right off the bat. Even if granted a big role right away, Drake may struggle to find much success against a swarming San Francisco defense.
Drake will be a part of the offense Thursday against the 49ers with David Johnson (ankle) listed as questionable and Chase Edmonds (hamstring) ruled out for the contest, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. "We're going to get him in the game in some packages," coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Drake.
Dealt from Miami on Monday, Drake hasn't had much time to acclimate to Arizona's scheme, but with a need out of the backfield, Kingsbury has given assurances the newcomer will play a role in his first chance to do so. His snap count may depend on the availability of Johnson, who returned to the practice field Wednesday for the first time since Oct. 18. If Johnson ultimately is deemed inactive Thursday, Drake will be in a "running back by committee" with Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Drake will have a "manageable workload" Thursday against the 49ers, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
With David Johnson (ankle) day-to-day and Chase Edmonds (hamstring) doubtful to play this week, Kingsbury's comment doesn't exactly inspire confidence that Drake will be the primary back in his first appearance with the Cardinals. Assuming Johnson and Edmonds are sidelined, Drake seems poised to split work with Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris, both of whom have just one more week of experience in the offense. Thursday's matchup versus San Francisco's second-ranked scoring defense doesn't bode well for any of the trio making a significant impact.
The Dolphins officially traded Drake to the Cardinals for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2020 draft, per the NFL's transaction log.
The Cardinals have a clear need in a backfield in which David Johnson (ankle) is day-to-day, Chase Edmonds (hamstring) is doubtful to suit up Thursday, and D.J. Foster (hamstring) landed on IR. Drake will have a steep learning curve with the team facing a short week and the formidable 49ers on tap, but his only competitors for reps (assuming Johnson and Edmonds don't play) are Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris. For his career, Drake has averaged 4.6 yards per carry, hauled in 116 of 164 targets and scored 15 touchdowns in 54 games.
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