Support for Darren McFadden within Bengals Organization

Ezra Shaw

There may be hope after all that Darren McFadden could sign with the Bengals.

Almost as soon as the season ended for the Bengals, rumors of Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden eventually coming to Cincinnati began. That's because of his connection to Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.

Jackson spent just two seasons with the Raiders, but they were two of McFadden's in what's been a disappointing career for the fourth-overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Under Jackson, McFadden had 11 rushing touchdowns, four receiving touchdowns and 2,432 total yards of offense in 20 games from 2010-11. In Cincinnati, he could join a rushing attack that finished eighth in rushing yards with Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Because McFadden has never been durable or consistent, he'll likely sign a veteran minimum contract. He played in 10 games in 2013, starting in seven while totaling 379 yards rushing and five touchdowns for the Raiders.

There have been reports in recent weeks that Cincinnati is not interested in McFadden, but Coley Harvey of ESPN doesn't think that's the case:

A couple of reports earlier this week indicated there wasn't any connection between McFadden and the Bengals, and that he wasn't going to Cincinnati. I can't confirm that, but I do know there are some around the franchise who wouldn't mind giving him a shot in the stripes.

That being said, there are a whole host of factors that would go into bringing the big back to the Queen City. He would have to be willing to move cross-country for likely a veteran minimum salary.

From a financial standpoint, his lower-end contract is certainly one the Bengals could afford. But it would be about fit and whether he and the entire Bengals family truly wants him.

Here are a look at McFadden's career statistics:


Team
Season
G
Rushing
Receiving
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Long
Rec
Yds
Avg
TD
Long
Raiders
2008
13
113
499
4.41
4
50
29
285
9.8
0
27
Raiders
2009
12
104
357
3.4
1
28
21
245
11.7
0
48
Raiders
2010
13
223
1,157
5.2
7
57
47
507
10.8
3
67
Raiders
2011
7
113
614
5.4
4
70
19
154
8.1
1
26
Raiders
2012
12
216
707
3.3
2
64
42
258
6.1
1
20
Raiders
2013
10
114
379
3.3
5
30
17
108
6.4
0
16
Career Totals
(5 seasons)
67
883
3,713
4.2
23
70
175
1,557
8.9
5
67

In my opinion, if no one signs McFadden before the start of training camp, the Bengals should at least sign him to a veteran minimum contract and give him the chance to compete for a roster spot. Once the final roster cutdown comes, cut McFadden to prevent him from being on the Week 1 roster -- which guarantees his entire 2014 salary -- and keep him on speed dial in case one of the Bengals' other RBs gets hurt.

Then he can come in and already know the system will enough to step in and play immediately. One would think McFadden will be able to get a better deal and more security with another team, but you never know.

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