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Raiders News: Kenyan Drake to Be Released; Played 12 Games for LV Last Season

Doric SamAugust 22, 2022

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 04: Kenyan Drake #23 of the Las Vegas Raiders looks on during the first half of the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 04, 2022 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Veteran running back Kenyan Drake's time with the Las Vegas Raiders will come to an end after one year.

General manager Dave Ziegler informed Drake of the team's decision in a phone call.

"He let me know how they were planning on moving forward, how really uncustomary it was for him to tell me himself, and that was just a testament to the respect he has for me as a player, and as a man," Drake told the Associated Press' W.G. Ramirez.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero previously reported Monday that Las Vegas was planning to release Drake. He appeared in 12 games for the team in 2021 with two starts.

Josina Anderson of CBS Sports added that the Raiders "will still keep an ear to the phone for potential eleventh-hour trade inquiries" for Drake but that the team's "clear-cut intention remains to move on either way."

Drake's 2021 season was cut short by a broken ankle he suffered in December. The 28-year-old accumulated 254 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 63 carries while adding 30 catches for 291 yards and a score.

Drake had recovered in time to be in uniform for the Raiders' first three preseason games. Las Vegas is expected to put more focus on its running game under new head coach Josh McDaniels, and it revamped its running back room through free agency and the draft.

The Raiders signed Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah and drafted fourth-rounder Zamir White and seventh-rounder Brittain Brown. Lead back Josh Jacobs appears to be in line for a return to form after falling short of 1,000 yards for the first time in his three-year career last season. With so many additions, Drake became expendable.

Drake signed a two-year, $11 million deal with Las Vegas last offseason and restructured the contract in March. The Raiders will eat $8 million in dead money by cutting Drake, per Spotrac.

A third-round draft pick in 2016, Drake began his career with the Miami Dolphins before he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in October 2019. He recorded career highs of 239 carries, 955 yards and 10 touchdowns for Arizona in 2020.

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