Darren McFadden Must Prove Himself on 1-Year Deal

In one of the more surprising moves of the first day of free agency, the Oakland Raiders elected to keep running back Darren McFadden in the fold, signing the former top-five draft pick to a one-year and $4 million contract.

For his part, McFadden seemed pleased to maintain his status as a Raider:

From McFadden’s point of view, he likely felt something of an obligation to the team that drafted him. He hinted at such in comments he made after returning from injury late in the 2013 season, via Marcus Thompson III of the Daily Democrat:

It's hard to deal with, but at the same time I feel like I'm built for this. I'm cut out for this. Anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That's always been my motto.

I love being a Raider. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I want to give them what they deserve.

McFadden clearly has talent, or he wouldn’t have been taken with the No. 4 pick out of Arkansas. However, for every impressive run or elusive cut, McFadden has dealt with injuries and an overall lack of production.

He only tallied 379 rushing yards and five touchdowns in 10 games last season and averaged a paltry 3.3 yards per carry the past two years.

In fact, McFadden has never played more than 13 games in a single one of his six seasons.

Bringing back McFadden in lieu of Rashad Jennings, who tallied 394 more rushing yards than the Arkansas product last year, was one of a series of confusing moves the Raiders made on the first day of free agency, as Eric Edholm on Yahoo! Sports pointed out:

The Oakland Raiders opened free agency leading the NFL in salary-cap room. After less than two hours of action, the team is among the most roundly criticized for their early moves.

Yes, the team signed running back Darren McFadden to a one-year, $4 million contract, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, and signed Rodger Saffold for bi...

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