A Look Back at What Might’ve Been as Darren McFadden Retires

With Darren McFadden’s retirement and Sebastian Janikowski’s career possibly drawing to a close, it will be the end of an era for the Raiders.

Yesterday, former Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden officially retired from playing in the NFL.

The former fourth-round pick of the 2008 NFL draft played for seven years with the Silver and Black. McFadden played his last three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, however, he was unable to make an impact his last two.

Due to injuries and playing during a chaotic era in Raiders football, McFadden was unable to live up to expectations, despite being one of the most talented picks Al Davis made in his later years.

By The Numbers

In seven seasons with the Raiders, McFadden started 63 games, scored 25 touchdowns, and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. Another nod to McFadden’s talent was his ability as a pass catcher. In 2010, arguably his best season, he caught 47 passes for 507 yards as he scored three touchdowns; as an aside, his longest reception that year was 67 yards.

Unfortunately for McFadden, that 2010 season would be the last 1,000-yard season he’d have in Silver and Black. Battling through injuries in most of his tenure ended up derailing what started out as a promising career.

What Might’ve Been

It’s easy to point fingers when things are going wrong and unfortunately for McFadden, there was a lot going on during his tenure.

The coaching carousel that dominated headlines for the Raiders during those years certainly affected his career. Just as easy though, the terrible drafting can be blamed as well.

Looking at some of the offensive line talents that slipped thru Davis’s fingers during this time is amazing. Even more amazing, what if some of these players had been with the Raiders? What might’ve been? Michael Oher in 2009 is one example; then after that in 2010, Anthony Davis and Zane Beadles respectively would’ve aided McFadden. Oh, and in 2011? Rodney Hudson was passed over as well.

But as well all know, drafting is not a perfect science as year after year players don’t live up to their prospective “hype.” With that said, it will be frustrating when one looks back at what could’ve been with McFadden and the Raiders. Regardless, the end of an era continues for the Raiders.

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