Apr 11, 2012; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie at press conference at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie Establishing Free Agency Identity


Thus far this offseason the Oakland Raiders have made six free agent signings and retained two of their own players. General Manager Reggie McKenzie has made it clear how he approaches free agency in order to build the team. All the signing have come on the defensive side of the ball, with only one of the six making over 1 million dollars in base salary for 2013.

McKenzie clearly believes building the defense is the first move to make the Raiders a better football team. He is putting his stamp on Oakland during his second year as their lead decision maker. He has let all the Raiders big name free agents walk for big money deals elsewhere, including tight end Brandon Myers, linebacker Philip Wheeler, and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant. Gone are the days where the Raiders throw money at big names, McKenzie has been prudent with his spending after using last season and the beginning of this free agency period to clean out the Raiders abysmal salary cap situation.

There are many similarities with the players McKenzie has brought to Oakland. Linebackers Kevin Burnett, Kaluka Maiava, and Nick Roach are all between the ages of 27 and 30 with at least 13 starts in 2012. They all have the versatility to move inside and outside. They all have at least four years of NFL experience and fill a position of need.

The same philosophy was used as McKenzie addressed the defensive line, which was another major need for the Raiders. Pat Sims, Jason Hunter, and Vance Walker all have starting experience of at least eight games in a season with Sims and Hunter doing it twice. They are all between the ages of 25 and 29 with at least four seasons of NFL experience.

The Raiders are entering a new era of fiscal responsibility, which makes sense after McKenzie was cap strapped since he got to Oakland. They are getting young but experienced players who have versatility to fit their scheme. They are not getting involved in making the big splash and overpaying for a name. McKenzie comes from a director of player personnel background, which means he wants to build through the NFL Draft and supplement that with free agent signings. It appears to be a sound direction, but after the 4-12 debacle last season, results will have the final say.

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Tags: Oakland Raiders Popular Reggie McKenzie

  • mccall316

    The results may come in another year and I would have no problem with that. I don’t see the Raiders being competitive this year unless all the chips fall their way, ei. all these d-players come to play and make an immediate impact, palmer doesn’t throw to the opposite team a bunch and mcfadden stays healthy. All I’m hoping for is a 1st round pick that pans out whether that is Floyd or Milliner can be discussed until the day of the draft, followed by a few secondary players that won’t get torched. As long as the team doesn’t roll over and die halfway through the season and remains tough, I’d say keep Allen around for his 3rd year.

    • Amelia Argo

      THIS KIND OF MINDSET IS JUST NOT EXCEPTABLE ARE WE SUPPOSE TO
      EXCEPT ANOTHER 4 WINS, THIS IS BS AND YOU KNOW IT,ARE WE GOING TO BE REBUILDING THE NEXT FEW YRS AND EXPECT 4 WIN EVERY YR??
      ARE YOU KIDDING ME AND THE REST OF THE RAIDER FANS!!

      • goldenbaysports

        First of all, learn how to spell. Second, learn to be realistic. The Raider should not EXPECT to win four games a year, but they shouldn’t expect to win the Super Bowl…not with that roster.
        “Rebuilding” is a process. Look at how long the 49ers were mediocre. Al Davis left a mess, and Reggie McKenzie now has to clean up after him.

  • http://twitter.com/RickyBo60099188 Ricky Bobby

    Get it done BIG RED!!

  • Hangtownie

    Al Davis loved players to a fault which left the Raider in cap hell. Reggie I believe is doing a great job with what he was handed. I’m sure more time is needed to really get this turned around however I think they will improve next year because although they have lost some players none of them are un-replaceable.

  • Amelia Argo

    TIME WILL TELL? RAIDER NATION FOREVER!!