In the days leading up to the NFL draft, I posted a couple of rants about why I didn't think Oakland was the best place for Darren McFadden to wind up...I've lived in the Bay Area for 12 years now and have seen numerous good players get swallowed up by the disfunction that surrounds every aspect of the Raiders, never to be heard from again. As great as D-Dawg undoubtedly is, he's not immune to that possibility.
But, after the pick was made, I have to admit that I started feeling pretty excited that he'll be playing for my local team. After all, I live roughly 1,837 miles from Fayetteville (according to Google Maps), so I've never seen him play in person...I expect that to change this fall. And, it will be certainly easier to follow his progress in the pros when his every move is covered by the paper I read every day anyway.
So that's what I think. What about McFadden himself? Well, in a conference call with local media, he said pretty much all the right things, including this:
It’s going to be very important for me to carry on a tradition. You never want to ruin a tradition, you always want to carry it on. I love the Raider Nation, they’re very passionate about the Raiders so I’m looking forward to getting out and playing for them.
The full transcript is also worth a read if you want more details. I'm sure you're also wondering if D-Mac will be able to afford living in the notoriously expensive Bay Area. The good news is that I think he'll be be able to scrape by and get a place with enough guest rooms for all his brothers and sisters:
Arkansas running back Darren McFadden is by far the most dynamic offensive player coming out of college. As such, he will command a six-year deal worth at least $50 million with no less than $20 million in guarantees.
In other words, if Darren and I ever cross paths at a local piano bar, he's buying. More thoughts on the draft coming soon...(more at www.razorbackexpats.com)