By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 at 7:47 pm in Oakland Raiders.
It sounds as if Dominic Rhodes was promised that if he agreed to take less money on his contract and the Raiders drafted Darren McFadden, he would be granted his release.
“If they drafted Darren McFadden I was like, ‘Listen, I’ll restructure but it’s got to be to where if y’all draft him I can leave, you know. Y’all let me go.’ That’s kind of how it went,” Rhodes said in an interview on Sirius Satellite Radio Tuesday. “They kept their word and they let me get a chance to go somewhere else and get my opportunity. I know they like Mike Bush. They just re-signed Justin [Fargas] and I didn’t want to have to deal with what I dealt with last year because I know I can play and I know somebody can use someone like me.”
Host Pat Kirwan asked Rhodes if he regretted the decision to come to Oakland as a a free agent.
“The year out in Oakland was a tough one for me, man, especially coming from the Colts which is a great organization. They put together their team in a way with not a bunch of guys that are supposed to be like Hollywood types,” Rhodes said. “They go and get guys like myself who they know can play football and they put them on the field and they win with them, you know?
“Out in Oakland it was tough, man. I got put into a bad situation. The first thing was my fault by getting the four-game suspension but then when I got back, they knew that I was going to have that four-game suspension, and when I got back they kind of held it against me, didn’t give me my shot to get on the field and do the things that they said they were going to do.”
“That right there kind of let me know what was going on and then I don’t see the reason why the Raiders needed to draft a running back, you know what I’m saying? We had like a stable full of running backs that are capable, that ran for a hundred yards, every one of them and we went and drafted a guy that – he’s a great runner, don’t get me wrong – but I don’t understand the logic behind it.”
Rhodes’ complaints about playing time carry some merit, but the thing that hurt his chances the worst was when Fargas exploded for 179 yards against Miami the week before he became eligible.
If McFadden is as good as the Raiders think he is, they simply couldn’t pass on him. Rhodes is an above average back, but not a home run threat. Once Jordan was injured in the same Miami game where Fargas won the job, Rhodes probably should have been the second runner and given more of a workload.
Jordan seemed clearly uninterested once Fargas took over and Rhodes talked from the heart and played from the heart.
He got a chance in the final two games of the season to put two good games on film, and the Raiders did the right thing in keeping their word and letting him go once they drafted McFadden.
Rhodes sounded interested in returning to the Colts.