Who really has the leverage in the Kenyan Drake negotiations: the Cardinals or Drake?
We're about to find out as free agency approaches and Drake's asking price is reportedly somewhere between $8-$10 million dollars a year.
Meanwhile, Austin Ekeler's deal of 4 years and $25 million dollars with $15 million guaranteed is probably the floor for Drake.
While Ekeler is a more proven NFL weapon, Drake is a full time RB.
If the Cardinals splash Drake with a big contract and can't find a straight swap for David Johnson, they will end up paying their RB group more combined money this season than every other NFL team spent on RB's last year.
Thats not how you maximize Kyler Murray's rookie contract window.
But there could be hope for the Cardinals to land an impact back without breaking the bank.
There are really only seven NFL teams that could use a RB this off season: ATL, DEN, DET, HOU, KC, MIA and TB.
For a variety of reasons, I don't think ATL, KC, MIA or DEN are real threats to sign Drake.
That leaves DET, HOU and TB as threats to sign the Cardinals trade deadline discovery.
For the sake of this conversation, lets say one of these teams throws a pile of money at Kenyan Drake based off of eight games in a system that produced its fair share of running back production.
Instead of freaking out that the Cardinals didn't match or beat the offer, Cardinals fans should breathe a sigh of relief.
Because then the Cardinals could sign a running back for less that is likely even better: Kareem Hunt.
Kareem Hunt lead the NFL in rushing as a rookie in 2017, was on pace for another 1200 yard season in 2018 and last year split time with Nick Chubb in the Browns backfield after serving his eight game NFL suspension for domestic violence.
Maybe the bidding gets crazy for Hunt and he gets more than I think but even if he's getting Drake-like offers, I'd rather pay Hunt than Drake.
Granted, the 100% right decision is a combo of Chase Edmonds, David Johnson and a late round rookie but the Cardinals are likely eager to show Kyler Murray how far they are willing to go to keep him happy.
If the choice is Kareem Hunt, fans shouldn't just be happy but Kyler too.