So much so that they placed the transition tag on Drake this morning, meaning they have the chance to match any offer from another team to make sure Kenyan Drake is a part of the roster moving forward.
At worst, if no other team offers Drake and the Cardinals can’t get a long-term deal done, they will be paying the running back about $8.5 million on 2020.
That begs the question, will the Cardinals really spend that much on the running back room?
According to Aaron Wilson, who covers the Houston Texans but has been a great NFL Insider for years, the Texans are one of four teams interested in making a move for the Cardinals other running back, David Johnson.
Texans exploring trade options, including Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson, according to league sources. One of four teams interested in him— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 16, 2020
We’ve discussed how this could work, the Cardinals will likely eat some of the salary on Johnson’s contract by changing it to a signing bonus and likely have to tack a pick on as well, but even if they take on half the salary, it could free up maybe $6 million in cap space by getting someone to take half of Johnson’s contract on. That would then be used to pay Drake and maybe even extend him.
If the Cardinals are able to pull a Drake for Johnson swap with less than $10 million in cap hit, that would have to be considered a win for Steve Keim and company.
We’ll keep an eye on the situation.