Kenyan Drake did enough last season that the Cardinals wanted to keep him, using the one-year, $8.48 million transition tag on him.
The running back wants a long-term deal but knows “everything else will handle itself at an appropriate time” if he does what he expects to do this season.
“I tell people all the time I would play this game for free if the NFL didn’t pay me so handsomely,” Drake said on a conference call Tuesday, via Scott Bordow of TheAthletic.com.
Drake, 26, rushed for 643 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 28 passes for 171 yards in eight games after arriving from Miami. Assuming he stays healthy, Drake will get more carries, and, he hopes, more yards and more touchdowns.
He has never had more than 170 carries in four NFL seasons, and that came last season, and never more than 92 in a single season in his college career at Alabama.
“I feel like the best ability is availability,” Drake said. “Since I’ve been in the league, I’ve been fairly healthy. . . . So I’m really trying to put my body in a situation where I can take the load or get X amount of carries or touches in general.
“I feel like my ceiling is as high as I’ll take it.”