Is This the Beginning of the End for Darren McFadden in Oakland?

Coming into the season, the Oakland Raiders' hopes were pinned on running back Darren McFadden's production. If McFadden could return to his 2010 form, the Raiders could be better than expected—at least that was the thought.

More power runs and fewer zone runs were supposed to make McFadden a dangerous player again after a disastrous 2012 season. The additional running threat of quarterback Terrelle Pryor was an unexpected development that should have helped McFadden even more. 

The results through four games have been mixed. McFadden has made some big plays, but he's also only averaging just 4.1 yards per carry, and he injured his hamstring last Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

It's probably time for the Raiders and the Raider Nation to realize that McFadden is never going to be the player he was in 2010. It might even be time for the Raiders and McFadden to go their separate ways at the end of the season.

Obviously, McFadden's injury history was always the big fat elephant in the room, but the offense was still built around him. Former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp was fired and replaced with Greg Olson mainly because he couldn't get much production out of McFadden—the team's highest-paid player. 

McFadden was and is the centerpiece of the offense, but that needs to change. McFadden has never played more than 13 games in a season, which is a serious problem for a feature back. The Raiders can't continue to rely on McFadden hoping and praying he's both productive and healthy at the same time.

McFadden is in a contract year, so his production this season and willingness to accept a reduced role could determine if he stays in Oakland. The Raiders certainly have plenty of salary cap space after purging the roster the past two seasons to re-sign McFadden if they want him, but general manager Reggie McKenzie has resisted to urge t...

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