Darren McFadden May Be Trade Fodder for Oakland Raiders

Ryan EvansContributor IIJanuary 27, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns at O.co Coliseum on October 16, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With the Dennis Allen hiring in its final stages, and the offseason officially ready to get started, disturbing rumors are popping up about the future of Run DMC.  There are whispers that Darren McFadden may be trade fodder to bolster better draft picks in the 2012 draft.  

It's not surprising to see that Oakland's new GM would be looking to reboot this roster, but it may be a little overzealous to trade away someone this valuable.

It goes without saying that Oakland has a talented backfield, and McFadden is a major component of that group. Did Michael Bush have a fantastic season when McFadden went down?  Sure, for the first few weeks.  

Normally it would make sense to look at a player's overall stats (Bush rushed for just under 1,000 yards) and make some logical conclusions on the player's performance.  That being said, was it just me or did Bush start slowing down at the end of the season?  Oh wait—he did!

Over the last three weeks of the season, Bush never broke 80 yards and averaged 3.4 yards per attempt (his season average was 3.8).  Not super impressive numbers when you consider the fact that his counterpart (McFadden) was averaging 5.4 YPA before his injury.  A stellar average that put the Raiders in prime position to win the AFC West.

I am not unrealistic and would be most careful about shipping McFadden via a parcel service (have you seen how they handle their packages?) unless you put a lot of packing bubbles on him; however, there is something you can't ignore.  Bush does not have the top-end speed McFadden does, runs that should go all the way tend to just become large gains.  

Does Taiwan Jones fit that role?  Maybe. It's important to keep in mind it took McFadden three seasons to reach his current production levels.  

There is only one way I would ever possibly buy into a McFadden trade: improve the line.  Bush is a north-south runner and does not have the speed to get around the perimeter, while Jones has the speed but has a long way to go before he is "the guy."