Cardinals place transition tag on RB Kenyan Drake


The Arizona Cardinals continue to invest in the running back position.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Cards will place the transition tag on Kenyan Drake, per a source informed of the situation.

The team later confirmed the move.

The transition tag allows Arizona the chance to match any offer Drake gets in free agency. If the Cardinals decline to match, they would get no compensation.

The estimated transition tag for running backs is expected to come in at around $8 million.

After withering away in Miami, Drake found new life in Arizona following a midseason trade. In eight games with the Cardinals, Drake rushed for 643 yards (5.2 yards a carry) with eight touchdowns. He added another 171 yards on 28 receptions.

A perfect fit in Kliff Kingsbury's system, Drake's versatility made him a movable chess piece once he got to the desert.

The issue for the Cardinals keeping Drake is the amount of money allocated to the running back spot. David Johnson is set to count $14 million against the salary cap, with a massive dead-money hit if they move on.

Transition tagging Drake is a surprising move for Arizona but keeps their options open to possibly hanging on to their best running back from last season.

UPDATE: The Cardinals are trading running back David Johnson to the Texans, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.