The Las Vegas Raiders’ running backs have been a topic of discussion for much of training camp. But while much of the talk centered on starter Josh Jacobs, who would be backing him up was also a question mark as the team had the likes of veterans Kenyan Drake and Brandon Bolden while also drafting a pair of backs in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Drake was the Raiders’ primary backup last season but did suffer a broken ankle in Week 13. Even still, he has appeared in all three of the team’s preseason games, but it now looks like the two sides will part ways.
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardNFL) August 23, 2022
In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Drake revealed that Raiders GM Dave Ziegler called him personally to inform him that they would be moving on without him, via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
“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.”
It definitely shows a certain level of respect that Ziegler chose to call Drake himself, as he certainly didn’t have to take that step. And showing why Ziegler and the rest of the Raiders respect Drake so much, the running back completely understood why they made the decision and had nothing but good things to say:
“They had their guys. I mean, they drafted two running backs, they brought in two other running backs, all who I have admiration for. I have respect for their game. So I have nothing bad to say about the organization with how they decided to move,” Drake told the AP. “I’ve been around this game for a while now, and I could just see myself being the odd man out. I feel like it just presents an opportunity for me to go to another team and continue to be the playmaker that I’ve always been.”
The move is surprising because the Raiders will take a cap hit for the release. Drake added that the team would try to trade him first, but it is more likely he will simply be released, forcing the Raiders to absorb $3.6 million in dead cap this year and $4.4 million next year.
With Drake gone, it looks as if veterans Bolden and Ameer Abdullah, along with rookies Zahir White and Brittain Brown, will be battling for touches behind Jacobs.