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Kenyan Drake knows the drill. Despite being a productive player for most of his first six seasons, the veteran running back will be suiting up for his fourth NFL team when the regular season kicks off next month. The Raiders, the team that has employed Drake since the start of the 2021 season, plan to release him before the end of the preseason, according to NFL Media.
The 28-year-old returned to the Raiders this offseason after breaking his right ankle late in the 2021 season. A versatile back who gained over 1,000 all-purpose yards from 2018-20, Drake is surely seeking a team that is looking to exploit his skill sets while integrating him into a backfield that won't rely on him to carry the workload.
With that in mind, here's a look at the five teams that appear to be good fits for Drake, who shouldn't have issues finding a new landing spot shortly after he hits the open market.
Baltimore already boasts a crowded backfield that includes J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Mike Davis and Justice Hill. But with Dobbins, Edwards and Hill all coming back from season-ending injuries, the addition of adding Drake to the roster certainly makes sense. Drake would give the Ravens another option in the backfield while being added insurance in the event that there are any setbacks to Baltimore's top backs. Drake's versatility would also give Lamar Jackson another weapon out of the backfield on short pass routes.
Drake would add a much-needed punch to a Chiefs backfield currently led by Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, rookie Isiah Pacheco and veteran Ronald Jones. Bringing Drake into the fold would give the Chiefs a proven substitute in case Edwards-Helaire -- who was sidelined seven games last season -- misses more time with injuries. He would also provide another option in the passing game for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who lost several of his key wideouts (including All-Pro Tyreek Hill) this offseason.
Los Angeles would be an ideal landing spot for Drake, who given his recent injury and previous workload would be a better complementary back than a featured one. Drake would be flanked in Los Angeles by Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson, two players who played a key role in the Rams' recent championship run. Adding Drake would also give Kyren Williams more time to ease into the offense after the rookie from Notre Dame missed significant time this offseason after breaking his foot.
Drake would likely be asked to carry a heavier workload in Atlanta than the three teams previously mentioned. The Falcons' rushing attack is currently lead by receiver-turned running back Cordarrelle Patterson and former Chief Damien Williams. Even with the recent emergence of rookie Tyler Allgeier, Drake still makes sense in Atlanta given his skill set as well as the Falcons' relative lack of proven depth at running back.
Similar to Atlanta, Houston would be a place where Drake's role would be similar to the one he had in Miami and Arizona earlier in his career. Rookie Dameon Pierce is currently slated to start for Houston, with veterans Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead serving as his backups. Given Pierce's lack of NFL experience, Mack's recent injury issues and Burkhead's age and skill set, a future pairing of the Texans and Drake makes a lot of sense.
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