Last Days of McFadden: Writing is on the Line

Just before the season got under way, Darren Mcfadden pumped the brakes on contract extension talks with the Oakland Raiders, believing his play during the 2013 season would elevate the value of his next contract. Darren McFadden joined the Raiders in 2008 after a celebrated collegiate career, but has yet to suit up for 16 games in a season for Oakland. Mcfadden has missed a total of 24 games since 2008 for an average of 11.4 games per season.
The 2013 season has been anything but promising for DMC over the first 7 weeks. Darren has already missed a game this season, so he is on pace for his average. The offensive line looks more like an infirmary than a road grader which poses a problem for a running back envisioning himself as a bell cow back. So far this season DMC averages a pedestrian 53.4 yards a game(22nd in the league) and 267 total yards (25th in the league). These numbers coupled with his injury history and only one thousand yard season will put Mcfadden in the $2 million-$3.5 million a year range. Oakland only has $58.2mil on the books for 2014, but given Mckensie’s brief history I expect the Raiders offer to be around $2.5mil a year. McFadden fresh off a 6 year, 60 million rookie contract has yet to experience contract negotiations in the post work horse back/ pro passing era and will look for more money elsewhere. The franchise tag for a running back this year was $8.2mil and the transition tag was $6.97 mil, both are well over what Oakland will be willing to offer Mcfadden.
As long as the offensive line continues to be in shambles, I just can’t fathom Mcfadden generating the type of production to warrant the money he may be seeking and some other team will be willing to pay him a bit more based in his past laurels. Darren Mcfadden’s last days in silver and black, the writing is on the offensive line and the proverbial wall. All indications are the Raiders will field the offensive line from the second half of the Chiefs game when the Steelers visit this coming Sunday, so expect another long, uneventful day from McFadden. Of course when the line returns to full strength, Mcfadden will probably do enough to tempt Reggie’s check writing hand, but DMC may still be done in Oakland after this season.

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