McFadden signs six-year, $60 million deal with Raiders
"I'm very happy to have it out of the way," McFadden said at Friday a news conference. "Because like coach said, I want to be in training camp. I want to be out there practicing and learning plays. Missing a day of training camp is like missing a week of college practices. It would be a major setback for me."
McFadden is the third of the top four draft choices to reach a deal. Offensive lineman Jake Long, of the Miami Dolphins, and quarterback Matt Ryan, of the Falcons, the third pick in the draft, have signed. McFadden, the fourth pick, reached an agreement after negotiating during the Raiders' minicamp
McFadden's agent, Ian Greengross, flew to Oakland to start negotiations with the Raiders. Both sides wanted to get a deal done quickly. The agreement came together Thursday night.
McFadden participated in the three-day minicamp that wrapped up Thursday, and coach Lane Kiffin singled him out for his quick acquisition of Oakland's offense after just two short camps.
"The last thing we wanted to do with Darren because of our ideas with him was to go into a holdout and for him to miss any time in training camp," Kiffin said. "What I think shows a lot about Darren is the fact that Darren felt the same as we did. Darren knew how important it was for him to get in here and show us his love for football."
The tricky part was getting enough guaranteed money to compete with Long and Ryan's deals. Ryan received more than $34 million in guarantees on his six-year, $72 million contract. But Ryan reached the agreement the day the NFL voided the final two years of the collective bargaining agreement. Negotiations for draft choices since have become more complicated because of the possibility of having an uncapped year in 2010.
Greengross and the Raiders were able to work through the red tape and come up with a six-year contract that maximized guarantees. Many analysts of the rules involving the uncapped year predicted more five-year contracts that included less overall and guaranteed money.
McFadden is expected to share the running back position with Justin Fargas.
John Clayton in a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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