The Cardinals have always wanted to have Kenyan Drake around as their running back. That's why they put the transition tag on him prior to free agency, to give them the right to match any offer some other team made to Drake.
But there won't be another offer coming, after Drake's agents -- and reiterated by Drake himself -- said on Twitter Saturday the running back will be signing his tender offer, worth $8.48 million for a salary in 2020.
Once the tender is signed, Drake can no longer seek offers from other teams. But he and the Cardinals can still agree to a long-term deal before mid-July, or Drake can just play on the one-year deal and become an unrestricted free agent again in 2021. The running back market has been up and down since the league year started. The Cards traded David Johnson to the Texans, the Rams released Todd Gurley (who re-signed with the Falcons for $6 million this season), the Falcons cut Devonta Freeman.
But the Cardinals will have their preferred running back this season. Drake proved to be the perfect fit in the backfield alongside QB Kyler Murray after arriving in trade midseason in 2019.
Drake, who was brought in after injuries to Johnson and Chase Edmonds, made an immediate impact. In eight games with the Cardinals, Drake rushed for 643 yards (on 5.2 yards a carry) and eight touchdowns, adding another 28 receptions for 171 yards. For now, Edmonds is the only other running back on the roster.