The Miami Dolphins dealt starting running back Kenyan Drake to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday for a conditional 2020 draft pick. The pick is currently a sixth rounder that could be raised to a fifth rounder prior to the 2020 NFL Draft.
Lions, Titans front runners prior to late move by Cardinals
It was previously reported that the Detroit Lions were the front-runners to land the fifth-year back who is in his last year of his rookie contract. Detroit just placed starting RB Kerryon Johnson on injured reserve with a season-ending knee injury. The Lions announced Ty Johnson would lead the backfield for Detroit, but he saw just seven carries Sunday against the New York Giants. Tra Carson was the leading rusher with 12 carries for 34 yards.
Additionally, the Tennessee Titans surprisingly entered the trade conversations late Sunday looking for a committee partner for Derrick Henry. However, there were no talks of Arizona being interested until the confirmation of the trade came in early Monday morning.
Injury-plagued Arizona backfield now home to Drake
Cardinals’ starting RB David Johnson is currently nursing an ankle injury that kept him out of last week’s matchup with the New Orleans Saints. Johnson also had just one carry for two yards the week prior against the Giants and Arizona turned to backup Chase Edmonds to lead the rushing attack. Edmonds exploded for 126 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.
However, Edmonds injured his hamstring Sunday against the Saints and is listed as doubtful for the Thursday night divisional matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. Edmonds had just seven carries for eight yards.
Arizona taking Drake makes little sense
The Cardinals held a tryout for former Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi early last week, but on the day it was time to announce the signing, Arizona released that it signed former Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys RB Alfred Morris. Additionally, the Cardinals have former Lions RB Zach Zenner on the roster. Zenner was listed as Edmonds’ backup on Sunday, but had just one carry, and Morris was a healthy scratch. Where Drake will fit into this rotation is left to be seen, although he is eligible to play on Thursday.
Career notes for Drake in Miami
Drake finishes a frustrating career in Miami with 333 career rushing attempts, 1,532 yards and nine total TDs, including the TD in the Miami Miracle against the New England Patriots last season. He also has just 174 yards in seven games this season along with more fumbles (1) than TDs (0).
Furthermore, Drake was never truly embraced by the coaching staffs across his years as he worked in a committee more times than being a sole starter. He has been passed over for playing time for players including: Arian Foster, Ajayi, Frank Gore and this season, Kalen Ballage and most recently Mark Walton.
Trade rumors surfaced before the season even began when Miami looked to clean house a bit, but the nail in the coffin came when Miami left him home when it traveled to Pittsburgh for the team’s week eight clash on Monday Night Football.
Walton is now the lead back in Miami and it is unseen how long Drake will remain with the Cardinals in another shared role as he becomes a free agent after the 2019 season.