Darren McFadden puts contract talks with Raiders on hold
The sixth-year pro is coming off a disappointing 2012 campaign under former coordinator Greg Knapp's ill-suited zone-blocking scheme. Obviously, McFadden realizes that it is a poor time to be negotiating deals after averaging a career low 3.27 yards per carry and scoring just three touchdowns for the Raiders in 2012.
A first-round pick by , McFadden is looking for some extra motivation playing the 2013 season without a contract to prove he can still be the electric offensive weapon he was previously under Hue Jackson in 2010-11. McFadden believes if he has that comeback season it will ultimately improve his market and encourage the Raiders towards offering big dollars to secure his rights next year.
"Obviously, he never felt comfortable in what we were doing last year," second-year Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "That led to some questions about him, but if you watch practice, the guy's still explosive.”
“He's still a threat to take it all the way. And he feels more comfortable,” Allen expressed some confidence in McFadden. “If you don't quite trust it, there's always that doubt."
While NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport called putting off contract talks till next offseason a win-win situation for both sides, this could potentially prove to be a risky move for McFadden after missing 13 games due to injuries over the last two seasons. As a running back with stiff hips and subpar lateral agility, McFadden’s effectiveness really comes down to the implemented scheme.
However, with the Raiders returning to a power-blocking scheme that best focuses on McFadden’s strengths, not much can go wrong if he manages to stay healthy.