Oakland Raider running back Darren McFadden is drawing "significant interest", according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Some free-agent RBs not getting much play. But am told free-agent RB Darren McFadden has generated "significant interest."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2014
We're keeping our eye on McFadden and the Cincinnati Bengals, despite one NFL agent claiming that no marriage will take place. Originally this connection was a non-story until ESPN NFL Nation beat writer Coley Harvey wrote over the weekend that there are "some around the franchise who wouldn't mind giving him a shot."
Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (who we can assume is one that wouldn't mind giving him a shot), gave an interview that was borderline on tampering in January, praising McFadden.
"You guys know how I feel about Darren McFadden; he's still one of my favorite players," Jackson told ESPN affiliate 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. "What a tremendous talent. But I really like my little guy Gio [Bernard]. He had a real good season. But I don't think you can ever have too many good backs.
"I would have to be around him again but I think it's still no different with Darren," Jackson said. "Darren is still a downhill runner, he's a one-cut runner. He has the ability to split out and catch balls and do those things but I think, with any football player, you've just got to build their confidence and let them know you believe in them and create an environment for them to be as good as they can be and normally good things happen. And I don't think it's any different with him."
Jackson spent just two seasons with the Raiders, but they were two of McFadden's best seasons 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.