Reggie McKenzie has stated that the Raiders aren’t planning on parting ways with Darren McFadden claiming the under utilized running back will finish out the final year of his rookie contract as a member of the Oakland Raiders. In all honesty McKenzie has no other choice. This wasn’t so much a bold claim on McKenzie’s part as much as it was an honest admission.
Greg Knapp’s zone blocking scheme removed any chance of the Raiders being competitive week in and week out and in addition it removed any trade value McFadden might have garnered. Simply put fellow NFL general managers aren’t lining up for a talented but injury prove runner coming off of one of the worst seasons a feature back has ever had in a Silver and Black uniform.
So McKenzie really is stuck with McFadden for better or worse.
Cutting Run DMC simply to save money would only further anger and already upset fan base. Trading McFadden wouldn’t yield much more than a late round draft pick or two. Either way neither of those moves helps the Raiders, at least not on the field.
McKenzie still has another round of cap cleansing to make and McFadden’s near $6-million salary for 2013 would provide some real relief. However it would be a foolish move to make on all fronts. After sitting passively and allowing his rookie head coach to hire an offensive coordinator whose scheme was already proven ineffective in Oakland McKenzie owes it to his team to at least see what McFadden is capable of in an offense more tailored to his strengths.
Tossing salt into Raider Nation’s still open wounds McKenzie even echoed what we all knew all along about McFadden.
“When you talk about scheme, he’s not a lateral mover.”
How a talent evaluator like McKenzie could not know this of his best asset prior to taking the job is baffling. But we live and we learn…hopefully.
Going forward McKenzie will need to be more involved with the coaching staff than previously thought. A mistake this big cannot be made again. The last thing this franchise needs is to be fighting itself as it struggles to regain respectability.
So no matter what McKenzie owed it to the franchise, the fans and even himself to put McFadden in the best situation possible to succeed. It’s what’s best for everyone at this point and it’s the only thing to do.