Over the past few years, running back Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders has been one of the most injury prone players in the NFL. McFadden has a tremendous upside in terms of being one of the most talented backs in the league, but simply can’t stay healthy and is entering a contract year with the Raiders.
Although McFadden has been said that he wants to prove himself this season rather than signing a contract extension right now, former quarterback Shaun King believes McFadden is only out to cash a check via Anwar S. Richardson of Yahoo Sports:
“I looked at Darren McFadden against the New Orleans Saints, and what I wanted to see is this a running back who wants to prove his detractors wrong, wants to go out and have a big year in a contract year, or is this a guy that’s just trying to collect a check,” King said. “All I saw was a guy who wanted to collect a check.”
In 2010, McFadden finally seemed to finally live up to his potential rushing for 1,157 yards and seven touchdowns. McFadden also became a force as a receiver catching 47 passes for 507 yards and three touchdowns.
The following season McFadden appeared to still be rolling with an impressive start to the year scoring a total of five touchdowns in seven games, but then suffered a foot injury that ultimately ended his season. Backup Michael Bush took over for the injured McFadden and proved to be a viable option out of the backfield, but decided to leave the team in free agency signing with the Chicago Bears.
Last season, McFadden was finally able to get healthy playing in 12 games. Although McFadden was able to stay on the field more than he was in 2011, the veteran running back failed to make an impact scoring a total of three touchdowns while rushing for 707 yards.
Needless to say, the 2013 NFL season will be a make or break year for McFadden. Although the Raiders’ front office has made it clear they intend to retain McFadden for the long-term, that stance may change with another poor season.