NFC West Notes: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks

     

Cardinals

Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake broke out in a big way after being traded to Arizona midseason. Drake compiled more than 800 total yards, including three games of over 100 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in eight games with the Cardinals. Entering 2020 as the team’s starting running back, Drake sees the potential for even more. 

“I feel like my ceiling is as high as I’ll take it,” Drake said via Darren Urban of the team’s official website. “I can’t do anything but put the work in right now and take that into whenever the season starts. I have personal goals for myself. … I’m not looking for anything specific, I just want to help this team win as much as possible.”

Drake enters the season as Arizona’s clear starting back. It’s a job he’s never held for a full season, either in college at Alabama or during his first few years with the Dolphins. At some point, he’s always ended up splitting the load, but Drake pointed out he’s never missed a game in his career and is capable of being a feature back if necessary. 

“The best ability is availability is what I heard in my time (and) since I’ve been in the league I’ve been pretty healthy,” Drake said. “I’m trying to put my body in a situation where I can take a load or get ‘x’ amount of carries or touches in general and help this team win as many games as possible, touch the ball as much as possible.”

Drake’s playing for a lot more than just 2020, too. The Cardinals put the transition tag on him after the final year of his rookie contract in 2019. So Drake is in a contract year yet again after the conclusion of his one-year, $8.4 million deal. 

“I feel like anybody who plays this game is obviously looking for stability and a long-term contract,” Drake said. “But we got the deal done to where we are currently, and everything else will take care of itself. All I can do is focus on the things I can control. I’m excited to put the work in now and let everything else handle itself at an appropriate time.”

Rams

  • Ian Rapoport reports that the Rams and CB Jalen Ramsey haven’t progressed on contract negotiations given Los Angeles is waiting to see if the 2020 season will start on time or if salary cap figures could be adjusted.
  • Rapoport points out that Ramsey is not concerned about his contract and his gripes against the Jacksonville Jaguars were never money-related. 
  • According to Rapoport, Ramsey would be comfortable playing out the 2020 season without a long-term extension, receiving the franchise tag, or hitting the 2021 free-agent market. 

Seahawks

Seahawks OC Brian Schottenheimer is entering his third season with the team and believes that QB Russell Wilson is not only underrated but will have another big season in 2020.

“When I first got out here, I thought Russ was a good player,” said Schottenheimer, via Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports. “I never, obviously, had done anything with him in terms of watching him really work and I thought he was a good player. I thought he was a guy that was going to scramble around and make plays and improvise and all those things that he does. When I got here and I saw his ability to throw the football, not just down the field, but accurately. We call it ball placement. He’s able to put the ball exactly where you want it. Not just to where the guy can catch it, but I mean exactly where you want it and I was quite honestly blown away. I was surprised… “Unless you truly love the Seahawks and watch the Seahawks, I think what he does just comes so naturally and easy that people underestimate him. I know one thing, I’m thrilled and excited about 2020 because I think the chatter about the MVP votes will motivate him. He is ready to work. He’s always ready to work, but he’s the wrong guy to doubt. He’s the wrong guy to say, ‘Nah, he can’t do that.” He will carry a grudge and he will work his ass off to make it go.” 

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