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RB Kenyan Drake signs 1-year transition tender with Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (41) runs for his fourth touchdown of the game during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Running back Kenyan Drake signed a one-year transition tender with the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, announced his representing agency on Twitter.

Signing the $8.5 million contract tender now locks him in as the 2020 starting running back, giving head coach Kliff Kingsbury a tandem of Drake and Chase Edmonds after Arizona agreed to trade David Johnson to acquire receiver DeAndre Hopkins this week.

The transition tag is a one-year tender for 2020 that is set at a fixed amount based on the past market. That amount for a running back is approximate $8.5 million after the new CBA was approved last week.

The Cardinals could have matched another team’s offer but would not have been awarded compensation if Drake left and they opted not to match.

Now after signing the tender, Drake can still work out a long-term deal with Arizona.

Drake led the team in rushing with 643 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns, adding 28 catches for 171 yards as a receiver. His 123 carries were the most on the team and he was fifth in receptions.

The running back’s decision to sign the deal comes after the free agent market dominoes fell for the running backs.

Derrick Henry, the 2019 NFL rushing leader, was franchise-tagged by the Tennessee Titans, taking him off the market before free agency began.

Former Los Angeles Chargers running back and two-time Pro Bowler Melvin Gordon signed with the Denver Broncos, earning a two-year, $16 million deal with $13.5 million guaranteed.

And after being released from the Los Angeles Rams, three-time Pro Bowler Todd Gurley signed with the Atlanta Falcons for just $6 million.

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