Nearing Midway Point, Oakland Raiders Roster Makeover a Resounding Success

Imagine what Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie would like to say to all the NFL analysts who said his team was the least talented they had ever seen. Some adjectives commonly used to describe the roster were "horrible" and "pathetic." 

Prior to the season, the Oakland Raiders were considered one of the two worst teams in the NFL. Expectations could not have been lower, but nearly halfway through the season they are 3-4 and can move to .500 with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday. 

After suffering through a 4-12 campaign in 2012, the Raiders had to make drastic changes. To McKenzie's credit, he didn't drag out the process and, along with head coach Dennis Allen, has the Raiders on the verge of respectability.

If the Raiders win Sunday, they will equal their win total from last year. It's not quite a turnaround like that of the 2012 Indianapolis Colts or 2013 Kansas City Chiefs, but it's still impressive.

Considering the circumstances, McKenzie's rebuild has been a resounding success to this point. There was no franchise-altering quarterback available and part of making the necessary changes meant cutting dead weight that simultaneously limited his resources. 

With $55.3 million in dead money against the salary cap, according to, the Raiders were looking to revamp its roster with $25.5 million less to work with than any other team. Despite thin resources, McKenzie managed to add nine new starters on defense plus several role players.

Obviously, the Raiders didn't exactly bring in big-name free agents. Many of the contracts the Raiders gave out were for one year. This came with the understanding that Oakland would be able to hit free agency again in 2014, when it had more cap flexibility to give out bigger contracts.

The Raiders may be 3-4, but they are getting a lot considering they have o...

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