It was a highly discussed decision at the time, and now the Arizona Cardinals have put themselves and Kenyan Drake in a position to cash out.
Jess Root and I discussed it before our last podcast and he spelled it out nicely in his latest article:
The high end of what Drake could command is what the San Francisco gave Jerick McKinnon.
McKinnon had 201 and 202 touches in his last two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He was 25 years old and got four years and $30 million, including $18 million in guarantees.
After Tevin Coleman had 183 and 199 touches in his final two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and was 25 years old, he signed with the 49ers for two years and $8.5 million. It includes $3.25 million guarantees.
Dion Lewis signed a four-year, $19.8 million contract with the Tennessee Titans in 2018. He was 27 years old and coming off a 212-touch season. The deal came with $5.75 million in guarantees.
A fourth deal to use is the one Duke Johnson got from the Houston Texans. He was 25 last season and was sparingly used, never getting more than 165 touches with the Cleveland Browns.
He signed with the Texans for three years and $15.6 million, with $7.57 in guarantees.
Let’s say that Drake gets the high end, $7.5 million is a lot for a running back, any running back for that matter.
If he is on the lower end, it would be just above $4 million a season. The $18 million in guaranteed money is quite a bit as well.
The problem becomes that the Cardinals already have David Johnson under contract for next season and it is a big number, and an even bigger number if they decide to move on from him anyway other than via trade.
There are a couple of options.
One is obviously trading Patrick Peterson. Peterson’s late season surge may make it easier or harder depending on your philosophical bent. He has reminded everyone of his play and what he can offer the team. How do you move on from that?
Yet, it would open up quite a bit of money for Drake.
Two, they could kick some of Chandler Jones money down the road and extend him an extra year or two.
That is honestly the best two ways if they cannot get something for David Johnson.
The question is, will either be a viable option?