Raiders’ Reggie McKenzie Doing a Great Job Amid Mounting Criticism

Reggie McKenzie left a stable job as the No. 2 in command with the Green Bay Packers to become the general manager of a franchise needing a fresh start. The Oakland Raiders hadn’t been a winning franchise in a decade, but an 8-8 record in 2011 had fans unrealistically hopeful that the team could take the next step.

Criticize McKenzie for the moves he has made, but don’t insult the man’s intelligence. McKenzie knew he was leaving one of the best jobs on the planet for perhaps the biggest franchise makeover in NFL history, and he still took the job. The Raiders could be stuck with a general manager with a much shorter track record than McKenzie if he didn’t take the job.

If you look simply at the team’s record, you will miss everything McKenzie has done to set up the Raiders for future success. It’s unrealistic to expect every move a general manager makes to work out, especially when he’s dealing with issues at every level of the franchise. If you consider the entire situation, McKenzie is doing a great job amid increasing criticism after just one year on the job.


Salary Cap

The quick fix for any franchise is to sign veteran free agents. Signing free agents is also the expensive way to go about filling a roster. The Raiders were significantly over the salary cap in 2012 thanks to the in-season acquisition of Carson Palmer, the man who is now balking at taking a $3 million pay cut, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Even signing second-tier free agents was totally out of the question with the amount of cap space the Raiders had last year. Just to get under the salary cap in 2012, McKenzie had to release Kamerion Wimbley and restructure the contracts of Palmer, Richard Seymour and Michael Huff. All of the deals were strictly for cap purposes and simply pushed cap hits into future years to allow McKenzie another year to find their replacements.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Oakland Raiders