On Friday night, Mark Davis, the majority shareholder of the Oakland Raiders, announced that general manager Reggie McKenzie has been given a four year extension. Despite failing to lead the Raiders to a winning season in his first four years as general manager, McKenzie has been instrumental in turning the franchise around.
Oakland Raiders Extend GM Reggie McKenzie through 2020
When Reggie McKenzie was first hired back in Januray of 2012, the Oakland Raiders were lost. The team lacked youth, starpower, and draft picks. In his first year as general manager, the Oakland Raiders didn’t have a first or second round pick, and the team was strapped for cash. After choosing to bite the bullet and eat all of the dead cap space over the first two seasons, McKenzie has been doing a stellar job of bringing about the Raider revival.
Economically efficient free agent additions like cornerback David Amerson, left tackle Donald Penn, and pass rusher Aldon Smith have given the Raiders incredible value for their money. Other pricier, yet fantastic free agent additions like a returning Charles Woodson, defensive tackle Dan Williams, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, and center Rodney Hudson have all been fantastic additions.
In the last off-season alone, McKenzie has added starters in Kelechi Osemele, Bruce Irvin, Reggie Nelson, and Karl Joseph. Rookies like Shilique Calhoun, DeAndre Washington, and Jihad Ward will also look to make an impact in 2016.
Though McKenzie’s moves in free agency have been good, his best moves have been made in the NFL draft. In essentially three drafts, McKenzie has drafted a franchise quarterback in Derek Carr, a 1,000 yard rusher in Latavius Murray, a 1,000 yard receiver in Amari Cooper, and an All-Pro pass rusher in Khalil Mack. Beyond the flashy players, McKenzie has also drafted key pieces like offensive lineman Gabe Jackson, pass rusher Mario Edwards Jr., and a true rising talent in linebacker Ben Heeney.
The Oakland Raiders haven’t made the playoffs since the 2002 season, but with four more years of Reggie McKenzie calling the shots, the Silver and Black are on their way back to the top of the NFL.