Report: Arizona Cardinals apply transition tag to Kenyan Drake

  • Arizona Cardinas
  • David Johnson
  • Kenyan Drake
  • Kyler Murray
By Alexander Mann March 16, 2020 0 Comment
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In what could be considered a surprise to many, the Arizona Cardinals have decided to apply the transition tag to running back Kenyan Drake.

The Arizona Cardinals got the tag applied with less than an hour until the deadline. Drake was a productive piece for the Cardinals in 2019. The team hoped to secure a long term deal with him. This never happened as Drake was reportedly asking for 10 million a season, while the Cardinals are already locked into David Johnson for the same amount.

Drake joined the Cardinals mid season last year and played well on his way to 643 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He seemed to develop a good connection with the rest of his team, in particular quarterback Kyler Murray. Drake’s first game in the desert was against the 49ers. There, he was able to chalk up 15 carries for 110 yards. He also got his first score of 2019.

When Drake arrived, the Cardinals rode the hot hand which relegated David Johnson and Chase Edmonds into support roles. Kliff Kingsbury was able to get all three on the field at the same time, which excited many fans, but nothing ever came out of that formation. Drake played well enough that David Johnson did not see a snap in the team’s final game of 2019.

What now?

With the transition tag, the Cardinals gain the right of first refusal. If another team offers Kenyan Drake a deal and he agrees to its terms, the Cardinals have the opportunity to agree to that deal and sign Drake to it. However, if the Cardinals decide to reject the deal, Drake is free to sign with that other team and Arizona would receive no compensation.

There could be a number of reasons the Cardinals decided to place the transition tag on Drake. Perhaps the team is nearing a deal that would lock him up long term. Or, they do indeed know that no team will pursue him at 10 million a season. The Drake saga is not yet done, and will be something to monitor as we continue through free agency.

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