So every now and then, Adam Schefter gets it right with the Oakland Raiders. Or half right anyway.
Two days ago, Schefter blogged that the Raiders were about to release running back Justin Fargas and defensive tackle Gerard Warren. Checking the Raiders web page today, it confirmed that Fargas had been released by the club.
Prior to his release, it was rumoured that the Raiders would part company with both Fargas and Warren as they intended to rebuild with younger players. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as the Raider's transaction update was quite specific as to the reason for Fargas’s release.
He failed a physical.
That is a legitimate way for Fargas to part company with the Raiders, the only team that he has ever played for after he was taken out of USC in the third round of the 2003 draft.
If a player isn’t able to pass a physical, there is no way a team can retain him.
"Lil Hug" is now 30 years old, that time when age tends to catch up with running backs due to the continual pounding they take week in, week out.
His running style has always been a physical one, and we all knew he took a lot of punishment with the way he ran the football.
Justin Fargas always gave 100 percent of himself every time he touched the ball, and he was so often a bright spot in so many bad seasons in Oakland. He ran with a total lack of regard for his physical safety, and the fans loved him for it.
In the end that punishment took its toll, and now it looks like his career is done.
His on field leadership will be tough to replace. Even when he wasn’t the starting running back, he was still the emotional heart of the offense.
His best season came in 2006, when he ran for 1,009 yards and four touchdowns, at an average of 4.5 yards per carry. As I recall, he got the last touchdown and topped the 1,000 yards carrying a serious knee injury. He didn’t care, and he wouldn’t let it stop him making that 1,000 yards or getting over that goal line for the final score.
That really sums up Fargas’s career. If every player had his heart and passion, we would be in the playoffs every year.
In 2010, he was once again honoured at the Raiders commitment to excellence awards, together with Zach Miller.
Whilst the loss of Justin Fargas is a blow to the Raiders, we can be thankful that we have two very capable running backs to take the offense forward in Michael Bush and Darren McFadden. Their differing running styles compliment each other and Bush, in particular, has shown both endurance and big play ability when he gets extended playing time.
I have no doubt that Justin Fargas will be a success wherever he goes from here, in or out of football.
People with his character and drive will always succeed in life