Kenyan Drake

Ravens To Sign RB Kenyan Drake

AUGUST 31: The deal is going through. Drake will join his fourth team, with Rapoport adding the Ravens have agreed to terms with the seventh-year back (Twitter link).

AUGUST 30: With plenty of questions still surrounding their RB room, the Ravens are set to make an addition at the position. Baltimore is hosting veteran Kenyan Drake and “likely will sign him” pending a physical, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). 

The 28-year-old was on the roster bubble in Vegas, leading to the recent announcement that he would either be traded or cut. Nothing materialized on the trade front, as expected, leaving Drake on the open market. His Raiders tenure lasted one season, and produced 254 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns; he added 30 catches for 291 yards and another score across his 12 games played.

Despite his release causing $8MM in total dead cap charges, the Raiders were willing to proceed with the move. That leaves the team with Josh Jacobs in the No. 1 spot for at least one more season, as they declined his fifth-year option, and a mix of veterans and rookies behind him. Drake will enter a similarly-crowded Ravens backfield, but he should be in line for a more significant workload.

Baltimore could have lead back J.K. Dobbins on the field for the first time since 2020 as early as Week 1, but he will not handle a full starter’s workload right away. That, coupled with the absence of backup Gus Edwards for at least the first four games of the season, leaves plenty of snaps available for other options. That list includes veteran Mike Davis and sixth-round rookie Tyler Badie.

Drake will compete with those two for a role in the build-up to the regular season. At least until Dobbins and Edwards are back to full health, he should give the team a more proven pass-catching back.

Raiders To Release RB Kenyan Drake

AUGUST 23: As Drake expected, no trade materialized. The Raiders have followed through on their pledge to release the six-year veteran running back, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

AUGUST 22: Given a two-year deal in 2021, Kenyan Drake is not expected to be part of the 2022 Raiders. Las Vegas plans to release the veteran running back, Tom Pelissero of tweets. The team is still holding out hope for a trade and will hold off on an official release for a bit, per Josina Anderson of CBS Sports (on Twitter). But Drake’s contract makes a deal difficult.

The former Dolphins and Cardinals back signed an $11MM deal during Jon Gruden‘s final offseason in charge. Teams must cut their rosters from 85 to 80 players by Tuesday afternoon. Drake does not expect a trade to happen.

I’m just waiting on the next 24 hours,” Drake said, via Anderson (all Twitter links). “I don’t think anyone would trade for me just because of the contract situation, either way Raiders have to pay me.

Honestly, I felt like the writing has been on the wall recently — like within the last two to three weeks. I never felt like I had a fair shot to really compete for the job coming off the injury. I feel like, as time progressed through camp, there really wasn’t a role for me to have anymore because they had guys that they brought in, they traded for and I was kind of odd man out, especially coming off my injury.”

Because the Raiders fully guaranteed Drake $8.5MM, a release will come with some dead money. The Raiders also restructured Drake’s deal in March, creating some cap space but pushing more money into the future. The Raiders will eat $8MM in dead money from this cut, though only $3.6MM of it will go on this year’s cap. The move will provide less than $500K in cap savings. A trade would lessen the blow, moving Drake’s $2.5MM base salary off the books.

Drake, 28, did not finish out his first season as a Raider; a broken leg sidelined him in December. Drake had recovered, however, and suited up for Las Vegas’ preseason games thus far. The Raiders’ new Josh McDanielsDave Ziegler regime added Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah and drafted two backs — fourth-rounder Zamir White and seventh-rounder Brittain Brown — this offseason. The roster crunch behind Josh Jacobs left Drake without a place, with Vic Tafur of The Athletic noting (via Twitter) Abdullah — a former second-round pick but a player whose primary role in recent years has been as a kick returner — had beaten him out.

The Cardinals transition-tagged Drake in 2020, giving the former Dolphins third-rounder a nice payday to stick around following an in-season 2019 trade. Drake worked as Arizona’s primary back in 2020, and Gruden — who was interested in the Alabama product in 2020 as well, prior to the Cards tagging him — viewed him as a player who would help on passing downs. After totaling 1,092 scrimmage yards in 2020, Drake amassed just 545 (with three touchdowns) last season.

Latest On Raiders RB Kenyan Drake

Kenyan Drake‘s season ended a bit early when he suffered a broken leg in December. While the Raiders running back wasn’t cleared for minicamp last month, he’s optimistic he’ll be on the field for the start of training camp.

“I’m definitely going to be ready for camp,” Drake said during a recent appearance on the Silver and Black Pride podcast (via’s Kevin Patra). “It’s not going to be full speed ahead once I get into camp, but for the regular season, I’m going to be definitely ready to go.

“A couple of preseason games or however I feel need to kind of get back into football shape. But really I’m excited about the opportunity to kind of get back on the field. I’ve been hurt for the [majority] of seven months now. … So I feel great just working through the things that you usually go through when you’re coming off a major injury and just ready to kind of get back on the field. It’s not my first rodeo.”

Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed of The Athletic recently echoed this sentiment, writing that Drake was “progressing nicely.” However, the duo didn’t necessarily say the RB would be ready for the start of training camp, instead writing that Drake was expected back “before the end of camp.”

Drake joined the Raiders last offseason on a two-year deal. He saw time in 12 games during his first season with Vegas, collecting 545 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on 93 touches. While he didn’t get a whole lot of carries thanks to Josh Jacobs, he still contributed in the passing game, hauling in 30 catches. If Drake is forced to miss some time during training camp, rookies Zamir White (fourth round) and Brittain Brown (seventh round) could see increased reps. The Raiders are also rostering veterans Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah behind Jacobs and Drake.

Raiders Rumors: Offensive Line, WRs, Jacobs

We recently wrote about the unlikelihood that any rookies will be starting for the Raiders to start the 2022 NFL season. The player we gave the best odds of earning a starting role is maybe even better set up for taking the job than we thought, according to Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed at The Athletic. The two reported that, besides left tackle Kolton Miller and right guard Denzelle Good, the other three offensive line jobs are up for grabs.

We had given Andre James the assumption of starting at center after a successful season at the position last year. We also didn’t grant Good an automatic spot as he is recovering from a torn ACL that held him out for all but 18 snaps of last season. But Tafur and Reed assert that rookie third-round pick Dylan Parham “could push John Simpson at left guard and (James) at center.”

They also believe that Alex Leatherwood doesn’t quite have the right tackle job in the bag. He’s being pushed by Brandon Parker, who started 13 games at the position last year, while Leatherwood occupied a guard spot.

Here are a few more rumors from Sin City:

  • The addition of star wide receiver Davante Adams provides an obvious No. 1 weapon for quarterback Derek Carr. Carr will have Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller to target in the slot and at tight end, respectively, but who will be out wide opposite Adams? That role will be a battle between free agent additions Mack Hollins, Keelan Cole, and Demarcus Robinson. According to Tafur and Reed, the former Dolphins wide receiver, Hollins, should be considered the favorite. Though he hasn’t quite shown the necessary production (his best season came last year with 14 catches for 223 yards and 4 touchdowns), Hollins has a large, 6’4″ frame and speed that can make him an effective weapon while defenses focus on Adams, Waller, and Renfrow. Cole has shown more consistent production during tenures in Jacksonville and New York, as has Robinson in Kansas City, but neither quite has the physical tools that Hollins displays. If Hollins can take the next step and make the most of his abilities, Cole and Robinson can be strong assets off the bench behind a starting three of Adams, Renfrow, and Hollins.
  • Las Vegas didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on running back Josh Jacobs rookie contract this offseason as a result of some of the injury trouble he’s experienced in the NFL. In total, Jacobs has only missed six games throughout his three years of play, but his struggle to stay healthy has limited him in many other games. Due to health, Tafur and Reed see this as Jacobs’ last year on the team. Their opinion is also backed by the draft addition of Georgia running back Zamir White, once considered the top recruit at his position in high school. While the team won’t put too much on White as a rookie, The Athletic guesses that the Raiders will utilize a running back by committee approach. Vegas will lean on Jacobs to lead, as the most talented, while attempting to bring White along and up to NFL-speed. Career third-down back Brandon Bolden and backup Kenyan Drake will continue their usual roles as the Raiders allegedly groom White to start.

Raiders’ Kolton Miller, Kenyan Drake Rework Deals

The Raiders have restructured the contracts of left tackle Kolton Miller and running back Kenyan Drake (Twitter link via Field Yates of Between the two moves, the Raiders have carved out an additional $14.525MM in cap space for this offseason. 

[RELATED: Raiders, Crosby In Talks]

Drake joined the Raiders last year on a two-year, $11MM deal. Serving as the Raiders’ second-leading rusher behind starter Josh Jacobs, Drake tallied 254 rushing yards, two touchdowns, and a solid 4.3 yards per carry average last year. He also added 29 grabs for 283 receiving yards and one TD through the air. Unfortunately, his season ended in December with an ankle fracture suffered against Washington.

Around that same time, Miller agreed to a three-year extension worth upwards of $18MM per year. At that time, the advanced metrics were only so-so on his play. But, last year, Miller graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 ranked tackle (86.3 overall score) in the NFL. By all accounts and measures, the UCLA product has steadily improved with every season. Miller has played on every snap for the last three seasons and, in 2021, he allowed just 35 total pressures.

The Raiders will direct some of this cash to free agency, though they’re also looking to lock up standout defensive end Maxx Crosby.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/8/21

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Designated for return: G D’Ante Smith, CB Trae Waynes

Denver Broncos

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Washington Football Team

Raiders’ Kenyan Drake Done For Year

The season is over for Raiders running Kenyan Drake (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). After suffering an ankle fracture on Sunday, Drake will be shut down for the year and placed on the injured reserve list. 

Drake, the Raiders’ second-leading rusher behind starter Josh Jacobs, had to be carted off midway through the second quarter against Washington. WFT was leading 7-0 at the time and went on to win 17-15.

I know he’s had significant injuries in the past,” said Jacobs (via “So, I’m just praying for him right now and praying for his family. His whole family was here at the game.”

Drake’s year will end with 254 rushing yards, two touchdowns, and a solid 4.3 yards per carry average. He also added 29 grabs for 283 receiving yards and one TD through the air.

The Raiders may add another RB to join Jacobs and Peyton Barber, though Jalen Richard could be ready to return from the COVID-19 list soon. Down to 6-6 on the year, the Raiders are set for a must-win game against the Chiefs next week.

This Date In Transactions History: Dolphins Trade Kenyan Drake To Cardinals

The Dolphins were looking to clear their roster in 2019, and that led to one of the more notable trades that took place around that season’s deadline. On October 28, 2019, the Dolphins traded running back Kenyan Drake to the Cardinals for a conditional sixth-round pick.

Drake had spent his first three-plus seasons in Miami, including a 2018 campaign where he collected 1,012 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns in a part-time role. However, the 2019 iteration of the Dolphins had no hopes of contending, and the organization traded off pieces as they looked towards 2020 and beyond. So, on this date two years ago, they sent their starting running back to Arizona.

The Cardinals didn’t give up a whole lot to acquire Drake, and they needed some reinforcement at the position with both David Johnson and Chase Edmonds struggling with injuries. Drake ended up having a solid eight-game stint for the organization, collecting 814 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns. Still, the move didn’t do much to help the team’s record, as Arizona finished at 5-10-1.

The organization ended up placing the transitional tag on their acquisition following the 2019 season, and Drake eventually signed a one-year, $8.48MM tender. During his lone full season in Arizona, the running back finished with a career-high 10 touchdowns to go along with 1,092 yards from scrimmage. Drake moved on to the Raiders prior to the 2021 season (via a two-year, $14.5MM deal), and the Cardinals pivoted to James Conner in a rushing attack that also includes Edmonds and quarterback Kyler Murray.

While the Dolphins did everything in their power to clear their 2019 roster of any talent, the team still only finished with the fifth-worst record in the NFL. As a result, the team missed out on LSU superstar Joe Burrow and had to settle for Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Further, the front office made a curious move with the draft pick they acquired from Arizona. That conditional sixth-rounder ended up improving to a fifth-round pick, and the Dolphins proceeded to…trade the pick for running back Matt Breida, who’s only a year younger than Drake.

Each team had different intentions when making the selection, but neither team ended up with their desired outcome. Hindsight is always 20/20, but both teams may have been better off avoiding this trade altogether (although it’s tough to be overly critical of the Cardinals for ditching a late-rounder or the Dolphins for essentially swapping Drake for Breida).

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/29/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Houston Texans

  • Signed: WR Jordan Veasy

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: OT Chidi Okeke
  • Waived: OT Calvin Ashley

Tennessee Titans

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: LB Bud Dupree; Dupree remains on Tennessee’s active/PUP list as well

Washington Football Team

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Raiders, Chiefs

For several months, the Broncos have been linked to adding a quarterback that would at least provide Drew Lock with competition. No such move has transpired, but James Palmer of notes GM George Paton is doing extensive research on this year’s crop of QB prospects (video link). Paton attended Trey Lance‘s pro day and mentioned last month that the team will consider a passer at No. 9 overall. However, Palmer expects the Broncos to also be in play for a trade-up — should the team become infatuated with one of the available arms.

While the Broncos are doing homework on all five of the top quarterbacks, they realistically only have a shot at two of them. This draft is, as of now, expected to begin with Trevor Lawrence going to the Jaguars and Zach Wilson heading to New York. Now in possession of the No. 3 overall pick, the 49ers have been linked to Mac Jones more so than Lance or Justin Fields. The Broncos believe Lock will improve next season and do not want to make a quarterback transaction for the sake of making one. Lock was without top receiver Courtland Sutton for most of last season and was transitioning to a new offense without the benefit of onsite offseason work, but he ranked 29th in QBR and led the league in INTs despite missing three games.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • Prior to the Cardinals using the transition tag on Kenyan Drake, Jon Gruden was interested in signing the running back last year, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). The Raiders showed significantly more interest in Drake than anyone else this offseason, per Drake, whom Gruden plans using in the backfield and at wide receiver. Drake’s two-year, $11MM deal includes just $3MM guaranteed in 2021, per Tafur, but carries $5.5MM in guarantees in 2022. Drake totaled just 127 receiving yards with the Cardinals last season, but the former third-round pick should be expected to play a bigger role in the passing game in Las Vegas.
  • The Chiefs hired former defensive coordinator Ken Flajole to replace Britt Reid as outside linebackers coach, the team announced. Flajole’s most notable NFL role came when he served as Rams DC during Steve Spagnuolo‘s three-year stay (2009-11). The Rams went just 10-38 during that stretch. Flajole, 66, will come to Kansas City after spending the past five seasons as Philadelphia’s linebackers coach under Doug Pederson. Reid is no longer with the Chiefs and remains under NFL investigation. Following his February car accident that left a 5-year-old in critical condition, the Chiefs let Reid’s contract expire.
  • The Raiders considered cutting their losses on Carl Nassib‘s three-year, $25MM contract, Tafur adds, but the team instead decided to keep the rotational pass rusher on a restructured deal (subscription required). The team added three void years to Nassib’s contract, spreading out the cap hit through 2025. Nassib is on the Raiders’ cap sheet at just $4.9MM this year; that number rises to $9.2MM in 2022. Releasing Nassib next year would tag the Raiders with a $4.6MM dead-money hit.
  • Drafted third overall as a defensive end four years ago, Solomon Thomas will primarily work as a three-technique tackle with the Raiders, according to Tafur. Thomas is in line to replace Maliek Collins, who defected to the Texans in free agency. A four-year 49ers contributor, Thomas has not come close to living up to his top-five draft status. The Raiders gave him a one-year deal worth $3.25MM.