The tide might finally be turning for NFL running backs trying to get paid — and just in time for Dolphins fourth-year pro Kenyan Drake to cash in.
Training camp holdouts by star backs Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon are really the leverage for tailbacks, whom even Drake acknowledged are viewed as “a dime a dozen” by league coaches and GMs.
But if Elliott and Gordon can force the Cowboys and Chargers, respectively, to pay more than the teams had planned to get them back on the field, the trickle-down effect could help lesser-known players like Drake pad their bank accounts.
So no surprise, then, that Drake is all for Elliott and Gordon trying to get theirs.
“They’re trying to change the narrative with how running backs get paid, how they’re seen, with the versatility that we have,” Drake said after practice Friday. “We pass block and catch the ball out of the backfield. We run the ball. Some even throw the ball. ... We do a lot of things, and I think we need to be compensated as such.”
Drake added: “Zeke and Melvin, they’ve done it year-in and year-out, so I feel like they should be compensated for the things that they’ve accomplished. ... Whatever they’re trying to accomplish, I’m happy for them and wish them the best. I’m focused on what I got to do. Hopefully when I get the leverage to do what I need to do, I get the same respect.”
Drake will have a ton more leverage if he’s given the ball a ton more than he has been his first three seasons. But that’s no sure thing.