Dec 6, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) carries the ball for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Raiders Should Let Darren McFadden Go

When the Oakland Raiders took Darren McFadden of Arkansas with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, many fans were wondering if the team had just picked the next Marcus Allen or Bo Jackson. After rushing for 4,500 yards in just three years at Arkansas and being the star in a crowded backfield featuring Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis, expectations for McFadden were sky-high. Raider Nation ordered his jersey by the thousands and if you take a trip to the Coliseum you will see that McFadden’s jersey is the most prevalent of any other current player on the roster. However, after six injury plagued years where he has only rushed for over 700 yards once (1,100 in 2010), it is safe to say that McFadden has been a colossal disappointment.

McFadden is the type of player who, when healthy, shows tremendous upside and incredible skill. He has shown flashes of being one of the best running backs in football but those are few and far in between. The rumors that the Raiders are still meeting with McFadden in hopes of signing to an incentive based deal at a very good discount are unsettling at best. We all know what he can be capable of but at this point he is just never on the field enough to prove himself. Even in a contract year where most players perform at their best, McFadden missed six games and lost his starting job to Rashad Jennings.

At this point it is not even about ability and potential when it comes to McFadden. To many fans, myself included, he represents the failure of the old regime to bring in players who would actually earn their megabucks contracts. His teammates and coaches have always supported McFadden and they claim that he works extremely hard and always has a positive attitude. All that is well and good but what good does hard work do for the Raiders if it does not translate to the field? This is not a knock on McFadden as a person, just as a player, but the Raiders need to let him go for the sake of the fans. His presence on the roster may convince the team to not go after a halfback in the draft and they could miss out on a great talent. The money for his contract could go to a player who can actually contribute to the team and not someone who always seems to be hurt.

Even at the veteran minimum it would not be worth it for the Raiders to bring McFadden back to the team. Let him go and see what his value is to the rest of the league and let his injuries be another team’s problem. Work with Kory Sheets, Latavius Murray, and Rashad Jennings and explore the draft for a diamond in the rough in the late rounds. Just move on from McFadden and the endless talks about his potential and what he could do and focus on someone that will actually perform for the Silver and Black.

If you like what you just read and are in to the other kind of football, check out Khaled’s Chelsea FC blog called The Pride of London.

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Tags: Al Davis Darren McFadden Fans Oakland Raiders Raider Nation

  • Rees Britton

    His time has come.

  • bigninaross

    Keeping him at a good price as a change up back would be best. You can never have too many running backs in your stable. Especially backs that go hard like DMC and can hit the home run on any given snap.

  • TribalX

    “the Raiders need to let him go for the sake of the fans” Really? I hope the organization doesn’t make decisions based on that.

  • Pridenpoise

    I don’t think anyone was calling McFadden the next Bo Jackson.

  • raiders4life

    Why isnt the horrific Oline to blame for any of Mcfaddens injuries? A couple different articles even point out that Rashad Jennings is a much better Running back and people would be crasy to even concider Mcfadden in his category. This is just a bunch of crap because mcfadden is not a bruiser, you al have your running back skills mixed up. Bush, Reese and Jennings, all are bruisers, with some speed but they are bruisers, built to take hits and make yards after those hits. Jenning averaged 3 yards per carry before the hit and after the hit 2 more. Its obvious what the problem is here. Our running backs should not be taking punishing hits by 300 plus pound lineman and edgerushers. We should be blocking atleast the first level and atleast give them a dying chance at the second level. Most lines protect the running back through out the whole play. The crippled Oline cant block for crap. You want to call it quits on Mcfadden fine, but what other running back since mcfadden has rushed for a thousand yards??? The answer is None. Because of the Oline. Not the running back. Hell, the line is so bad even the bruiser cant stay healthy a ful year to go over the one thousand yard mark. All i would want is for Mcfadden to get a fair evaluation so that we dont let him go with the broncos and see him rush 200 yards per game against us just because we didnt know how to use him. If you look at the speed backs, Taiwan Jones, mcfadden, and latavius murray have not been able to succeed in the same scheme. And again its because they are not going to take a huge hit from a lineman and keep right on going for 3 or 4 more yards like the bigger backs. SO please, Give our backs a good Oline, and if after Mcfadden still has excuses then let him go, but if his average is still crap then get rid of him. Im sure the rest of the speed backs would appreciate the same courtesy not just Mcfadden. Hell, even Taiwan Jones could be a solid running back next year. It’s rather simple right now to fix the oline, tell wizneiski to stop being a diva and go back to right guard. He will never shine at center like he did at right guard next to valdheer. Sign Alex Mack. Get a solid guard in FA or the draft with a second pick, and get Watson healthy. We could even pick up a Solid tackle with the first pick, move him to right tackle and move Watson over to right guard. What ever the case yall need to give mcfadden a chance, or it might haunt us for years to come. Mcfadden and Payton manning twice a year for the next 3 years????? I dont think so.

  • Carl Elftman


  • Carl Elftman

    Make him a wide receiver then he catch and run the ball. No more running back.

  • Eric Kench

    I agree. It’s past patience with McFadden. It should be runningback by committee in 2014. We should resign Rashad Jennings, play Cory Sheets, and develop Latavius Murray.

  • bill kush

    He’s not worth the roster spot. I say let him walk. The league minimum is still to much to waste on a cheerleader on the sidelines

  • Gregg Brennan

    Let him walk, er, limp. Sorry DMC, but you ain’t no Bo, you ain’t no Marcus, hell, you ain’t even no Lamont Jordan.

  • khaled74

    Well when theyre the ones filling the seats and buying merchandise their feelings should be at least be heard especially when it comes to player that hasnt done anything in a Raider uniform. Not saying they should make any decisions based on that but they should at least take the impact of the signing on the fans in to account.

  • khaled74

    right? they should just give his salary to the cheerleader suing the team. at least she didnt miss a game last year lol

  • TribalX

    We as fans can only follow a team. We don’t lead it or own it.