No matter what we always end up here with Darren McFadden. Playing the waiting game. Hoping he’ll be healthy enough to play this week, or the week after, or even the next season.
When will that trend ever end? Likely not.
Making matters even worse this time around is that Run DMC was mired in the middle of a slump the likes of which we didn’t expect to see from a potential MVP candidate. Though the burden of that blame falls on the slumping shoulders of Greg Knapp the debate surrounding McFadden’s future as a Raider is just beginning.
After next season McFadden will be a free agent unless the Raiders negotiate a new deal prior or simply part ways before crossing that bridge. That means the most dynamic talent we’ve seen in a Silver and Black uniform in the last decade will be officially at the crossroads.
Will Reggie McKenzie show McFadden the money knowing his investment might not ever see a proper return?
Will McFadden even want to come back considering how much his talents have been wasted by Greg Knapp?
Then there is a third option.
Will the Raiders move McFadden in the offseason in hopes of adding more draft picks and thus making this off-the-record rebuild official?
The season isn’t officially over but…well…it is. So it’s only natural to start these types of conversations now.
To date we’ve only seen brief glimpses of the brilliance of McFadden. From the start of his Raider career the injury bug his bit Run DMC often. This latest setback should have been expected. Of course the real tragedy was how ineffective the Raiders were with a healthy McFadden (all eyes shift back to Knapp).
Perhaps no team will be willing to give McFadden the contract he feels he deserves. Could be that no team will be interested in parting with premium picks or talent for McFadden either.
After it is all said and done McKenzie could be stuck with one of the most dominant yet perplexing talents in the game. Hey, it could be worse. At least McFadden is a hard worker with a team-first mentality. McKenzie could have inherited a team with JaMarcus Russell still on the payroll. So in a sense he’s lucky his dilemma relates to a world class talent with injury issues.
Still, you can’t help but feel as if we might be seeing the end of days for McFadden in Oakland. That would be a shame considering how much promise has gone unfulfilled on his end and how horrible the front office has been during his tenure on the team’s end.