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Raiders sign Darren McFadden, as their confusing first day of free agency continues

The Oakland Raiders opened free agency leading the NFL in salary-cap room. After less than two hours of action, the team is among the most roundly criticized for their early moves.

Yes, the team signed running back Darren McFadden to a one-year, $4 million contract, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, and signed Rodger Saffold for big money as well.

[Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players, and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players]

But the team also watched Jared Veldheer, LaMarr Houston and Rashad Jennings walk to the Cardinals, Bears and Giants, respectively.

Are the Raiders better right now? Hard to say yes.

McFadden will have a year to prove himself. The No. 4 overall pick has flashed moments of brilliance, but he has been very injury-prone and was limited to 379 rushing yards and five touchdowns in 10 games last season. In only 49 more carries, Jennings totaled 394 more rushing yards than McFadden did last season and also was a well-rounded player with 36 catches, too.

McFadden is two years younger than Jennings, which clearly is a factor, and Jennings felt his best chance to make his mark clearly was elsewhere. But with a net loss on the Safford-Veldheer swap — especially with reports that Safford might play guard, despite earning left-tackle money — and a question mark on the McFadden re-signing, the Raiders have more questions to answer now than they did only a few hours ago.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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