Returning to the power blocking scheme this season and appearing to be returning to full health, Darren McFadden has now let it be known that he is planning on betting on himself to recapture his status as an explosive and dynamic NFL running back this season. With his contract set to expire, it seems that McFadden is content on waiting until the offseason to determine his value as he is full of confidence heading into the preseason opener with the Cowboys Friday.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Raiders “checked in” with McFadden about a contract extension, but he preferred to wait until after this season in hopes of a better deal. ProFootballTalk reports.
Returning to a power blocking scheme and full health, McFadden is finally confident again, something that head coach Dennis Allen feels is one of the most important factors in getting McFadden back to rolling full steam ahead through NFL defenses in 2o13.
“Obviously, he never felt comfortable in what we were doing last year,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “That led to some questions about him, but if you watch practice, the guy’s still explosive. He’s still a threat to take it all the way. And he feels more comfortable. If you don’t quite trust it, there’s always that doubt.”
It appears that Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen both feel that DMC will be back to 100% and putting up big numbers this season, partially one of the main reasons Oakland has been trying to lock him up is likely to avoid having to shell out a big payday to McFadden come the season’s end.
If McFadden feels he can drive up his value that is only going to benefit Oakland this season and Greg Olsen’s offense. A motivated DMC in his choice of scheme with power blocking and having Marcel Reece at fullback could be the perfect combination to see McFadden finally play a full 16 games and threaten 2000 yards. At the moment anything seems possible, as long as he is healthy. If Reggie McKenzie needs to put some different digits on the pay stub come the spring, so be it if he earns the dough everyone will be happy.