At the end of the 2013 campaign, Darren McFadden will be a free agent. That’s why the Oakland Raiders would be wise to trade their starting running, who has been nothing more than a disappointment since the silver and black made him a first-round pick in 2008.
Apart from his 2010 season, McFadden’s résumé as an NFL running back is nothing to be proud of. It’s just a string of injuries that flushed promising seasons down the toilet. After a brutal 2012 campaign that watched McFadden become one of the worst starting running backs in the league, it’s time for the Raiders to throw in the towel and get something in return before it’s too late.
Side note: the Raiders’ constantly-changing coaches/schemes and horrid blocking didn’t help.
The truth is there are several running back-needy teams who would love to have a ball-carrier of McFadden’s caliber on their roster.
When he’s healthy, McFadden is a homerun threat every time he touches the football. Not only can he turn a five-yard carry into a 60-yard touchdown, but he also possesses value as a receiver out of the backfield. His blazing speed and explosiveness simply can’t be ignored. Again, the emphasis is on the whole him being healthy part of the equation.
His injury history won’t help the value the Raiders get in return, but they also can’t afford to let him leave via free agency next offseason and watch another first-round pick go to waste. They need to stockpile draft picks as they continue to rebuild the franchise, and McFadden could definite fetch a mid-rounder from a team desperate for some help in the rushing department.
Especially as GM Reggie McKenzie attempts to dig the Raiders out of the monstrous hole that the late and great Al Davis left the team in, risks must be taken. Moves must be made with the future in mind. Even if shipping McFadden off for a draft pick or two means starting Rashad Jennings or Latavius Murray at running back, the short-term sacrifice will be worth the long-term benefits.
It might not be the popular move among fans, but the Raiders better get something in return for McFadden before “bust” is permanently stamped across his forehead.
McFadden is healthy right now; get what you can and let the healing process begin.