What the Oakland Raiders’ Free-Agency Activity Means for Team in 2012

The Oakland Raiders came into the offseason with salary cap issues and needing to improve a team that finished a disappointing 8-8 last season. New general manager Reggie McKenzie was hired to reshape the Raiders' front office and establish a new philosophy to guide the team into the future.

McKenzie has a plan and as time passes his philosophies will slowly be revealed. So far, McKenzie has made a flurry of moves designed to help the Raiders reach short-term and long-term goals such as getting under the salary cap and shedding back-loaded contracts that would have handicapped his plans in 2013 and beyond.

A lot of activity doesn't always indicate a lot of change. As it stands, the Raiders will return 16 of 22 starters. 

What does the Raiders' activity or lack of activity mean for the team in 2012?


1. Reggie McKenzie wants to win and knows how to build a team to do it.

Overreacting, overvaluing and overpaying is not a recipe for success in the NFL. The most successful teams find value. Making big a big splash is free agency is usually a recipe for failure.

The top free agents are almost always overvalued and no team loses a player it truly wants to keep.

Without the cap flexibility, the Raiders were never going to be big players in free agency, but instead of signing one top free agent and overpaying for his services, McKenzie has already brought in two value free agents at positions of significant need.

McKenzie knows building a winner requires patience. Even with limited cap space the Raiders should be able to sign a handful of free agents that can help the team for a reasonable price.

The moves being made aren't just moves to help the team in the future, but moves that can have a positive impact on the win total in 2012.


2. The Raiders may struggle to find a natural pass rush.

With the r...

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