Avert your eyes, Oakland Raiders fans. You are not going to like the subject matter of this particular conversation, but it is a discussion that needs to be had.
Should the Raiders trade away Darren McFadden?
There's not an easy answer. The uber-talented running back just can't seem to stay on the field long enough to justify his paycheck.
But there is always more to the story than meets the eye. Let's check out the two angles that need to be explored.
Is He Worth Keeping Around?
Oakland invested quite a bit of money in their former first-round pick. They rewarded him with a six-year, $60-million contract, but the bulk of that cash has already been dispensed.
In fact, the Raiders only owe McFadden $5.9 million in 2013 and then he would be a free agent. Thus, they might as well get something for him while they can.
As explosive as McFadden is, he has actually only completed one 1,000-yard season (2010: 1,157). It's his 4.5-yard average that has kept his name in everyone's mouth.
But that average is only relevant if he can consistently carry the rock. McFadden has never completed a full season and only participated in seven games in 2011.
At this point, there doesn't seem to be any harm in shopping him around. Oakland picked up Mike Goodson this summer and could look to turn over the duties to him or a young draftee next season.
Does Anybody Want Him?
As mentioned above, he is owed $5.9 million in 2013. That's a lot of money to risk on a back that can't stay on the field.
Any smart organization is not going to give up much for such a hefty price tag on the back end. He's worth a one-year risk, but he'd have to agree to a pay cut.
Honestly, which team would give up more than a fifth-round pick? For some reason, I could see the Cincinnati Bengals making such a move, but Mike Brown doesn't really like to pay people either.
In short, the Raiders should trade McFadden. However, there isn't going to be a deal out there to be had. It's either cut the once-franchise back or give him another shot. With all the money they've invested, they might as well ride it out.