The Oakland Raiders will head into their first NFL preseason game of the year on Friday night facing off against the Dallas Cowboys with quite a few questions surrounding the future face of the franchise.
One of the uncertainties moving forward is the play of star running back Darren McFadden. The veteran back is entering the final year of his deal with the Raiders and will become a free agent in 2014. Even though the Raiders have reportedly reached out to McFadden in an effort to start contract extension talks, arguably the team’s best offensive threat wants to earn a new lucrative deal according to Ian Rapport of NFL.com:
The Raiders have “checked in” with McFadden about a contract extension, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, but the former No. 4 overall draft pick has demurred. Extra motivated to prove he still can channel the dynamic workhorse he was under Hue Jackson in 2010 and parts of 2011, McFadden believes he will put himself in position to command a mega contract in 2014.
McFadden’s enormous contract will come off the books after the upcoming season and will likely earn another megadeal with a productive season under his belt. The former Arkansas standout will have earned a little over $60 million over the course of his current deal with the Raiders, but may never see a lucrative deal like that again if unable to stay healthy while putting up Pro Bowl-caliber numbers during the upcoming season.
Fortunately for McFadden, head coach Dennis Allen knew the zone-blocking scheme wasn’t working for the veteran running back last season and has decided to change things up. Hopefully, for the sake of McFadden’s career in Oakland, the team will make the right adjustments and play to his strengths rather than continue with a scheme that clearly wasn’t working.