Oakland Raiders: Reggie McKenzie Has Made All the Right Moves


May 28, 2013; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie watches quarterback Matt Flynn (15) take the snap at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie came to the organization not too long ago and has already made some significant changes for the team.

We all know that the Raiders have been a struggling franchise for years and the drought just seems like it will never end, but not if McKenzie has something to say about it.

Piece by piece, player by player, he has formed this big squad of guys that have the potential to work really well together. It’s nice for Raiders fans to know that they finally have a guy in charge who really knows what he is talking about and a man that is very capable of scouting the right talent for the right team needs.

Just this offseason alone, McKenzie has been super active. Let’s go through some of the big changes he made.

McKenzie let go of fan-favorites like Michael Huff and Darrius Heyward-Bey, but he didn’t let that phase him. He also shipped off quarterback Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals and then acquired the highly-coveted Matt Flynn from Seattle. Instantly, he cleared cap space and brought in a new potential franchise quarterback.

On top of that, McKenzie also brought in veteran guys like Nick Roach from the Chicago Bears, to join the crew and play for cheap and low-risk contracts. Veteran leadership will be huge for Oakland this season and the ability to find solid role players for low-risk was a great move.

He didn’t end there though.

Signing safety Usama Young and cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins drastically improved their defensive secondary in the blink of an eye, and it was the brilliance of the deals that people should applaud. All three were one-year contracts and relatively cheap for three guys who are established and know how to play the game of football at a highly competitive level. Defense hasn’t been a friend of the Raiders for many years, but maybe things are changing.

Then, in the draft, McKenzie drafted star cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round, and then also brought on guys like right tackle Menelik Watson, linebacker Sio Moore, tight end Nick Kasa, and running back Latavius Murray, just to name a few.

The fresh, young talent that McKenzie brought on board gives hope to Raiders fans for years to come, and though D.J. Hayden has had his health issues, they believe that he will be just fine.

And don’t forget about Josh Cribbs, who the Raiders inked to yet another 1-year contract. Cribbs is a special teams whiz and will surely help in an area that the Raiders have struggled with in the past.

Last but not least, McKenzie and the Raiders were able to recruit and sign legendary defensive back Charles Woodson to play for the Silver and Black. Woodson started his career in Oakland, and he will no doubt fill in a big hole for the Raiders in their defense.

All in all, McKenzie has had a very thorough and productive offseason and fans should applaud his work. Whether you love or hate the Raiders, you really can’t hate on what their front office has accomplished thus far.