Monday, September 26, 2022

Ravens signing Kenyan Drake: Recently released Raiders RB to ink deal, pending physical

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys
Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take long for Kenyan Drake to find his new NFL team, as the running back is set to sign with the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, pending a physical, per CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson. Drake was one of the first notable names to be cut in the midst of the preseason, as the Las Vegas Raiders had some tough choices to make with a crowded backfield.

Drake spent just one season with the Raiders, and recorded 545 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in 12 games played. With new head coach Josh McDaniels coming in, however, the offense was going to look different.

“Honestly, I felt like the writing has been on the wall recently — like within the last two to three weeks,” Drake told Anderson after the news of his release broke. “I never felt like I had a fair shot to really compete for the job coming off the injury. At the end of the day that’s business. … 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. Other than that, I’m at peace with it because I know my capabilities as a player, and I know people are going to use me how I definitely feel like I need to be used, because I’m a playmaker.”

Originally a third-round pick of the Miami Dolphins out of Alabama in 2016, the two-time college football champion spent his first three-and-a-half NFL seasons in Miami before being traded to the Arizona Cardinals in 2019. In 2020, he set career-highs with 955 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns while crossing 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the third straight season. 

While Drake is going from one crowded backfield to another, the Ravens were CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo’s top potential landing spot for the veteran. Baltimore also has J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Mike Davis, Justice Hill and rookie Tyler Badie rostered at running back, but three of those five names are coming back after suffering season-ending injuries in 2021, and Edwards will miss the first four weeks of the regular season after being placed on the PUP list

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