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Raiders Stick to Their Guns and Keep Fargas

Running back Justin Fargas skipped by the free agent waters passing up the chance to test the market as he signed a new deal with the Raiders. One of the plans this offseason for the cellar dwellers in Oakland were to focus on keeping Fargas in the Bay Area, though a deal was thought to be unexpected because of their high draft choice (3rd/4th overall with Atlanta) that was targeted to select Arkansas standout RB Darren McFadden. He is coming off his first career 1,000-yard rushing performance last season despite starting only seven games.

He began the year as the backup to LaMont Jordan and missed the final two games of the season with a sprained MCL in his right knee. Staying in for a scoring drive in Week 15 while playing hurt, Fargas ended the season like a warrior, as he scored a TD on his final play of ’07 against the Colts. He showed courage and his will to do whatever it takes to help his team win by going above and beyond against Indy.

His 676 yards rushing in his seven starts were the second most in the NFL in that span, trailing only San Diego’s LaDanian Tomlinson (694). He piled up a career-high 179 yards on the ground against Miami in his first game being the featured back. Once he started getting the bulk of the carries, Fargas shined and impressed more than just fantasy owners, as he is now regarded as one of the toughest backs in the league to takedown because of his relentless running style that has him going all-out each and ever play. Fargas is almost impossible to stop when he gets into full gear and his relentless attack on defenders gets him many yards after contact.

Fargas finished the season with 1,009 yards on 222 rushes for an average of 4.5 yards per carry. He also ran for four touchdowns. Fargas became the first player to lead Oakland in rushing for consecutive years since Charlie Garner in 2001-02. He finished with 659 yards rushing last season when LaMont Jordan missed the final six games with a knee injury. He had only 80 carries his first three seasons in the NFL, spending much of the time on the bench before getting his chance the past two seasons.

By keeping Fargas, the Raiders probably will not draft running back Darren McFadden of Arkansas in the April draft. Oakland will have either the third or fourth overall pick, pending a coin flip with Atlanta, and could’ve had a need in the backfield for McFadden if they did not re-sign Fargas. Look for them now to go after LSU’s Glenn Dorsey to replace Warren Sapp at DT.

With that being said, Oakland’s most talented free agent is their lockdown cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who may become the team’s franchise player if he does not sign a long-term deal. As a franchise player, Asomugha would be guaranteed $9.465 million in 2008. If Asomugha signed with another team, Oakland would have the chance to match the contract or receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.

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3 Responses to “Raiders Stick to Their Guns and Keep Fargas”

  1. SBDICE says:

    I am glad that they signed him. I hate to say it but I think that is it for Lamont Jordan. As far as the draft is concerned I don’t know if they would still consider McFadden. As for me I would not. I would keep my sights on Glenn Dorsey or Sedrick Ellis. The D-Line is hurting really bad. For now I would stay put and take a DT. It will be alot of money for a lineman, but there is a real need here. Personally I like Ellis. There is still alot that could happen between now and the draft so let’s wait and see.

  2. Brien says:

    Man Fargas freaking sucks. This is an awful move because Rhodes is not playing backup to this clown. It is only a 3 year deal. They don’t feel he is a franchise back. Maybe D-mac still comes here.

  3. Russ Loede says:

    Fargas is THE TOUGHEST Runner in the NFL by far!

    He played hurt with an MCL injury on that final drive vs. Indy and SCORED a TD to put them ahead!

    Rhodes is not that good and was overhyped in Indy, only having 1 good game, the SB.

    Jordan is done with.

    Going after McFadden is over now and those talks are just about finished.

    Good thing about Ellis – Forgot to mention him, he’s been rising up the Draft Boards and he is a HOMETOWN kid being from USC!

    Dorsey or Ellis ~ Will be the PICK in Oaktown.

    Dorsey (LSU) brings you size, power, and intensity for his “strengths” and Ellis gives you more versatility, pass rushing ability, and quickness.

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