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Arizona Cardinals place transition tag on Kenyan Drake

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NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals did not let the market completely dictate what happens with Kenyan Drake.

The team announced today they are placing the transition tag on the running back, meaning they will have the ability to match any offers Drake has in free agency.

From the team:

Drake (6-1, 211) played in eight games with the Cardinals last season after being acquired in a trade with Miami in Week 9 and led Arizona with 643 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns on 123 carries (5.2-yard avg.). The 26-year old Drake had more 100-yard performances in eight games with Arizona (three) than he did in 54 games with Miami (two). He had seven rushing touchdowns over the final three weeks of the season, including a career-high four touchdowns against Cleveland in Week 15. Drake became the first Cardinals player to rush for at least four touchdowns in a game since 1993 and only Ernie Nevers (NFL record six rushing TDs in 1929) had more in a single game in team history.

Drake helped Arizona finish last season with the NFL’s 10th-ranked rushing offense (1,990 yards) that averaged a single-season franchise-record 5.03 yards per carry (second in the league).

According to CBS Sports Joel Corry, the transition tag carries a cost of about $8.5 million this season.

Meaning the Cardinals either see a long-term deal coming, or they are fine spending an enormous part of their cap space on the running back position. Or, they will make a deal to move on from David Johnson.

Anyway you slice it, the Cardinals and Kliff Kingsbury always wanted Kenyan Drake back... As of now, they have him.