Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said he expects running back Darren McFadden, whose contract is scheduled to expire this offseason, to test the free agent market, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez.
As expected, it doesn't sound like McKenzie and the Raiders have any interest in re-signing the talented-but-oft-injured former first-round pick.
Oakland made McFadden the No. 4 overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft, hoping he could be a franchise halfback after a stellar career at Arkansas. He has shown flashes of brilliance -- he rushed for 11 touchdowns and averaged 5.3 yards per carry over a 20-game stretch in 2010-11 -- but has been hampered by a myriad of chronic injury issues. Not once in his six NFL seasons has he played in more than 13 games.
The injury bug once again reared its head in 2013, limiting McFadden to just 10 games. He was anything but dynamic in those appearances, rushing for just 379 yards and tying a career low with 3.3 yards per carry.
McKenzie did state he planned on re-signing several other key free-agents-to-be, chief among them Rashad Jennings, whose midseason emergence is another reason McFadden has become expendable. Jennings, a seventh-round pick by the Jaguars in 2009, took over at tailback and put together an impressive 733 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. Like McFadden, his contract is expiring, but unlike McFadden, he'll be willing to sign at a bargain price.
McFadden won't get the payday he was hoping for when he spurned contract talks with the Raiders last offseason, but he shouldn't have too much trouble drawing interest from a team light on running back depth. He's still only 26 and, when healthy, has shown elite ability.
Reggie Bush revitalized his career in 2013 after signing a four-year, $16 million contract with the Detroit Lions, numbers McFadden could hope for from a team willing to gamble that he can stay on the field long enough to make an impact.