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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Raiders give injury-riddled running back Darren McFadden one last shot

By on 3/12/2014 10:00:00 AM

The Oakland Raiders jumped head first into the NFL's 2014 free agency period, re-signing veteran running back Darren McFadden to a one-year, $4 million dollar contract according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.   The March 11th free agency pool featured 24 running backs that were facing unemployment, and McFadden is only one of seven that were signed on day one.

Yesterday at 4:00 pm EST, there were approximately 471 free agents in the NFL.  As teams began releasing and signing players, football news saturated social media and a theme started developing all across the league.  Defenders and tackles were getting signed quickly, and for millions of dollars.  Very quietly and almost going unnoticed, the Oakland Raiders re-signed McFadden, giving the seven-year veteran one last shot.

McFadden has teased the Raiders with his unique blend of speed and power since they used the No. 4 overall draft pick on him in 2008, but has ultimately disappointed with his injury history.  The 26 year-old out of Arkansas has yet to play an entire season, and has yet to play in more than 13 games over the course of an entire season.

Various injuries have plagued McFadden since day one.  He has had toe, knee, hamstring, foot, ankle and hamstring injuries thus far, and has played 67 games out of a possible 96 in his career with Oakland.

June Rivera via Wikimedia Commons
When McFadden is healthy, he can and will produce.  He has a career 3,713 yards with 23 touchdowns.  That is roughly a 55 yard, three touchdown average per game for his career.  Looks like decent enough numbers as a whole, but McFadden had 379 yards with five touchdowns last year, playing in only 10 games.

The Raiders are throwing McFadden a lifeline, giving him one last shot to get healthy and be the explosive running back they know he can be.  Turning 27 years old in August, he is still young enough to wreak havoc and do some damage to opposing defenses.   Raiders fans have all fingers and toes crossed that he stays healthy enough to play a full season in 2014, for the first time in seven straight years.

More NFL Injury News on Twitter: @alewnes7


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