Raiders sign first-round pick Darren McFadden
ALAMEDA, Calif. ” The Oakland Raiders signed running back Darren McFadden late Thursday night, making sure their first-round draft pick will be in training camp after JaMarcus Russell’s protracted holdout last year.
The Raiders didn’t announce the deal’s terms, but scheduled a news conference for Friday with McFadden, the Arkansas tailback who finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in each of the last two seasons.
Several media outlets reported on their Web sites McFadden agreed to a six-year deal worth up to $60 million, with $26 million guaranteed.
McFadden ran for 4,590 yards and 41 touchdowns in three seasons with the Razorbacks, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Though the Raiders were loaded with running backs, they decided McFadden’s talents were too big to pass up with the fourth overall pick.
McFadden participated in a three-day minicamp that wrapped up Thursday, and coach Lane Kiffin singled out McFadden for his quick acquisition of Oakland’s offense after just two short camps.
McFadden also got his contract done quickly. His agent, Ian Greengross, conducted negotiations in Alameda this week after McFadden expressed a strong desire to be signed before camp starts next month.
Oakland also apparently was motivated to make a timely deal after last season’s troubles with Russell, the LSU quarterback selected with last spring’s top pick. Russell and the Raiders sat in a contract stalemate throughout training camp, and he didn’t get on the field until December after signing his $61 million deal three days into the regular season.
The Raiders hope McFadden can be an immediate contributor after the club dumped veteran running back Dominic Rhodes and entertained trade offers for fellow veteran LaMont Jordan, who probably will be released later. Starter Justin Fargas and promising youngster Michael Bush also will be in Oakland’s backfield.