The Oakland Raiders top two running backs are impending free agents this offseason, and the team will likely keep only one of Rashad Jennings or Darren McFadden. I’ve long been a believer in the Raiders letting the injury-prone and inconsistent McFadden walk in favor of Jennings, who has less upside and raw tools but is far more reliable due to his consistency, strong rushing style, and lower propensity for injuries.
Draft insider Tony Pauline reports that it is “unlikely” for the Raiders to be able to re-sign McFadden before the free agent deadline, and this falls in line with earlier reports that have stated McFadden will test the free agent market. Pauline also reports that McFadden and the Raiders will still talk about a deal after free agent sets, though the back will also speak with other teams.
I think the Raiders will only re-sign McFadden if they get him on the cheap, and that’s a possibility if other teams are also turned off by his injuries and poor 3.3 yards per carry average in each of the past two seasons. I wouldn’t rule out Run DMC staying in Oakland, but any deal would likely come later on in the offseason if McFadden remains unsigned and realizes that there isn’t much interest in him. Then, he would return to the Raiders on some sort of a cheap, one-year deal to prove himself for free agency in 2015.