After the Raiders' victory over the Denver Broncos on Monday night, most of the talk has been about the continual excellence of Darren McFadden. And he deserves it, with his 150 yards on 22 carries. But football is a team game, and he had a lot of help from one teammate in particular.
Fullback Marcel Reece got the Oakland Raiders their only passing touchdown of the night when he caught a three-yard pass from Jason Campbell to put the Raiders on top, a lead the Raiders would hang onto for the victory.
Reece, after playing wide receiver in college, has become one of the most underrated players in the NFL, as he maintained his ability to catch the ball and he has learned how to play fullback after spending two years on the practice squad.
Reece is the wild card of the offense. He can run the ball, catch the ball and block. He will often be motioned out of the backfield out wide, where he lined up in college, causing a mismatch and using his speed to go deep and make a big play.
Reece is saving the fullback position. It has been a fading position on offense, as most coaches will now go with three-receiver sets or two-tight end sets. Reece is clearly the most dangerous fullback in the NFL today.
Keeping that in mind, let's think back to when the Raiders were handing out new contracts before the worse 136 days in NFL history—the lockout. The Raiders made sure that they would keep their best players in Oakland, exceptions being Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and Robert Gallery.
This next offseason, we will not have a work stoppage and it will play out like normal. In that time, the Raiders would be wise to sign Reece to a long-term contract.
He is young and athletic and has great talent. Why not give him a five-year deal worth $25 million or so? That cost is cheap if you keep in mind that he can play two positions and play them very well.