Reassessing the Raiders’ Offseason Plan and Breaking Down What’s Left to Address

If you’ve been paying the slightest bit of attention to general manager Reggie McKenzie’s offseason moves, his intentions have been clear: Win in the trenches, build a solid defense and do it at a bargain rate.

McKenzie doesn’t receive enough credit for working the cap room in his favor, and I’m not referring to the $50-plus million the Oakland Raiders had stashed in the offseason.

The Raiders GM was harshly criticized for bringing in over-the-hill talent last year. To his credit, those players served a great purpose in the locker room for the impact rookies and second-year players on the roster. Secondly, those who weren’t productive on the field have retired, been released and signed elsewhere during free agency without much dead money owed.

Of that crop of has-beens, Justin Tuck and Charles Woodson still remain as leaders in the locker room and possible starters with limited productivity left in the tank.

When you fast forward to the Raiders’ 2015 offseason, you see the progressive thinking from the front office. This year younger talent, most of whom were reserves on their former teams, comes to Oakland with something to prove—that in addition to starting players who are looking for renewed opportunities.

The Raiders have exchanged their aging veterans for some youthful depth across the board. These players may not take the field as starters in Week 1 but will play significant roles as reserves to keep the team on an incline.

McKenzie also made it a priority to improve line protection to better execute rushing-attack schemes and provide better protection for Derek Carr. Thus, Rodney Hudson was signed, Austin Howard transitioned back to tackle and it's very likely Oakland will select a guard within the first three picks.

Many were under the impression the Raiders were destined to be big spenders in free agency. Mc...

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