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Kenyan Drake Signs Ravens Contract After Raiders Release

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IV

Chris Unger/Getty Images

Veteran running back Kenyan Drake agreed to a contract with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, according to his agents, who spoke to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.

Josina Anderson of CBS Sports first reported the deal on Tuesday. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network noted at the time that Drake should expect "immediate touches" in Baltimore.

Drake, who signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders last year, was released by the team last week.

The 28-year-old Drake struggled to carve out a sizable role during his only season in Vegas, and he was hampered by injuries as well, missing five games.

Even when he played, he was largely ineffective, rushing for just 254 yards and two touchdowns on 4.0 yards per carry while catching 30 passes for 291 yards and one additional score.

The 2016 third-round pick out of Alabama was coming off three consecutive seasons with over 1,000 total yards from scrimmage entering 2021, which lends hope that 2022 was perhaps just an aberration.

In 2018, Drake set career highs with 53 receptions for 477 yards and scored nine times overall in what was his final full season with the Miami Dolphins.

He followed that up with a career-high 1,162 total yards the following season, plus eight touchdowns, and he matched his career mark with 4.8 yards per carry while splitting 2019 between the Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals.

Drake wasn't as efficient in 2020, averaging just 4.0 yards per carry, but he rushed for a career-high 955 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Cards' lead back that year.

Signing with Baltimore could present Drake with a huge opportunity since the Ravens' top two running backs are coming off major injuries.

JK Dobbins missed the entire 2021 campaign with a torn ACL, while Gus Edwards didn't play at all in 2021 because of a torn ACL of his own.

Dobbins is set to begin the season as Baltimore's starter, but Edwards remains on the physically unable to perform list.

Baltimore did sign Mike Davis in free agency and drafted Tyler Badie in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL draft, plus holdover Justice Hill is back as well after tearing his Achilles last year, but none of them come close to matching what Drake has accomplished at the NFL level.

With dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson at the helm, the Ravens are a run-heavy team that relies on multiple backs, and Drake is a player who can help them continue to employ that strategy.

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