Miami Dolphins

As trade rumors bubble up again, Dolphins’ Drake said focus is on ‘playing this game’

The Kenyan Drake trade deadline rumors are swirling again.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday morning that the Dolphins have had trade conversations involving running back Kenyan Drake.

Drake’s name has come up in trade speculation at other points this season. The fourth-year running back shot down rumors that popped up in September saying he requested a trade.

The trade deadline is October 29.

But even as outside noise returns, Drake said his focus is solely on the present — which mean preparing for Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

“At the end of the day, like I continue to say, to control the things that I can control is what’s going to put me in the best situation to have success on this team regardless of what may be swirling around this organization or me personally,” Drake said after practice Thursday. “I have the ability to go out there and help this team win games each and every week. That’s what my focus is, and that’s what I’m going to continue to focus on until that’s not the priority.”

Drake said he has not spoken with his agent about the rumors and also reiterated that his focus is on “playing this game.” The Dolphins say they spoke to Drake’s camp about an extension and talks went nowhere. He’s now available for a draft pick, per a source who has spoken to the team’s front office.

Drake, the Dolphins’ third-round pick in 2016, leads the team with 153 rushing yards and has 137 receiving yards on a team-best 19 catches.

But the Dolphins started Mark Walton against the Redskins on Sunday, and he responded with 83 yards from scrimmage on a career-high 11 touches. Miami also has Kalen Ballage to get through the season.

“I feel good about all of our backs,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “[Kenyan] Drake’s been in there. He’s played well. Kalen Ballage has been there. He was in there for the goal-line touchdown last week. I feel good about all our backs.”

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Drake is also not ignorant to what can go down at the trade deadline. He watched the Dolphins trade Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 after two-and-a-half seasons. He said that trade showed him that what you do for a team in the present “may not be the things that may keep you or somebody else may want you because of that situation”

“It just reminds you of the business side of this game,” Drake said. “I grew up my whole life playing football. Football has given me a lot to kind of be able to do from a personal standpoint, financially for my family, the security that I have in terms of being able to go out here and do things that I want to do in life. Football has definitely given me that. You just have to remember the business side of the entire aspect because at the end of the day, how I’m feeding my family the same way everyone else in the organization and people around the league are doing the same thing. You have to be where your feet are and make sure you put your mind where it needs to be.”

Miami Herald sportswriter Barry Jackson contributed to this report.

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Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.