Reggie McKenzie: Premier players will get paid, we’ve built this to last

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Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie’s first few years on the job weren’t filled with a lot of success on the field, but his work rebuilding the roster has paid off this season.

The Raiders are 9-2 and leading the AFC West with players drafted by McKenzie like defensive end Khalil Mack, quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper playing lead roles. Others have also been crucial to the team’s success and it will be hard for the Raiders to hold onto everybody, but McKenzie said Thursday that the team’s plans have always included space to hold onto the stars.

“The key is that your drafted players become your core,” McKenzie said, via CSNBayArea.com. “As far as [what’s next], you need to know you can sign them and keep them and continue that process. That’s where we are right now, and we feel good about where we are. We think we’ve built this thing to last. … The premier players will get paid, and we’ll try and keep everything intact as much as we can. But what happens when your talented players play well? Contracts come up at times where they can benefit from it.”

The Raiders have an option on Mack’s contract for 2018, but next year will be Carr’s final year under contract so we’ll start to see how they are going to implement those plans before too much longer.

31 responses to “Reggie McKenzie: Premier players will get paid, we’ve built this to last

  1. Reggie has built a solid team. The goal was to get to the playoffs this year and do damage in 2017. But it’s possible the Raiders can make some noise in the playoffs now. Regardless this team should be in the hunt every year for the next decade.

  2. Big Reg is doing a great job.

    As he said, keeping the core together is key.

    But, right now, 2016 is all that matters.

    Finish strong, make some noise in the playoffs (Superbowl LI) and let it play out.

    Hopefully the zebras won’t be too much of a factor v NE.

    I kid, one game at a time. Lots of work to do.

    Carry on.

    Go Raiders

  3. @ bulgerson: Easy schedule?

    You obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

    After Week 4, the Raiders traveled more miles than 7 other teams will travel all season.

    3 of their last 4 games are divisional games on the road in the best division in football. Nothing like the AFC east that has one solid team,
    one OK team and two lap dogs.

    Easy?

    Shake yourself, buddy.

    Carry on.

    Go Raiders

  4. Exact philosophy started by Seattle GM Schneider which most posters from the bay area blasted as a franchise killer. Shoes on the other foot now and no negative comments. Interesting.

  5. McKenzie has been very smart about the structure of the free agency contracts in that for those players don’t really produce (as has been the case for several on defense) the cap hit is minimal if they’re cut. So that leaves more-than-sufficient room to keep stars like Carr, Mack and Cooper on lucrative long-term deals. Also, after starting out with some shaky drafts, McKenzie has done very well drafting over the last 3 years so if that continues, there’ll be less of a reliance on free agency going forward.

    I would be very surprised if Carr isn’t locked up with a mega-deal this offseason. He certainly deserves it.

  6. Reggie and Jerry are the best GMs in the game right now. People who continue to say Ozzie is the best are living in the past.

    Before you hate on Jerry there is no denying what he has done in the draft the last 5-7 years. Get over it and give the man his due, damn it. Reggie’s work speaks for itself.

    Raiders4Life

  7. @PFTCommentSectionIsFullOfBigotry

    As Al would always say, “It’s not the cap that’s the issue, it’s the cash.”

    It’s hard for small market teams and owners whose main business is their football team to come up with $30,000,000 to sign a player. The problem for the Raiders will be giving Carr, Mack, and Cooper $20-30 million each up front in consecutive years. I don’t think the Davis family has that kind of coin (on top of all the other contracts that need to be paid), which is why they are looking to get out of the dump of a stadium they play in.

  8. A lot of Raider fans were unhappy with Reggie over the last couple of years, but congrats to the team for not listening to them and they are now seeing the benefit of that patience. Reggie learned from some of the best in Green Bay and has done a great job of putting that knowledge to use in Oakland. To his benefit, he soaked up everything he could from the way Ron Wolf did things and was smart enough to ignore some of the more shortsighted ways of Ted Thompson.

  9. whiteybulgersson says:
    Dec 2, 2016 1:07 PM

    Easy schedule.
    ————————

    Too date the Raiders have played seven teams at 500 or above and have beat both teams from last years Super Bowl. Let’s not even talk about how the Raiders traveled more in the first quarter of the season then the rest of the NFL will all year.

    I suppose your schedule justification would be to have the Raiders play a rotating schedule of only conference leaders sprinkled with the Patriots every four weeks?

  10. What’s he supposed to say? “They are our future but we’re not going to pay them”???

    Wait for it. Here comes Newbie Nation gushing about the greatness of this latest proclamation from their God Reggie!

  11. Reggie and Jerry are the best GMs in the game right now.
    _____________________________________
    Um no. You might consider John Elway. GM for five years and five straight AFC West Crowns, two Super Bowls, one Lombardi, second best record in the NFL for last five years……………………………………..

    How many winning seasons has Reggie had? How many playoff wins? Appearances? Thought so.

  12. Raiders have a brutal schedule. 3 east coast trips with early kickoffs. A “home” game in Mexico City. Last 5 sees them playing 4 conference road games.

  13. “Easy schedule.

    I do like Carr and the offense though.”

    That’s not really a fair criticism this year. There are so many simply awful teams at the moment that every team with a good, winning record has had an “easy schedule”

  14. PFTCommentSectionIsFullOfBigotry says:
    Dec 2, 2016 1:06 PM
    I have no ideal about the cap & all but if Oakland lock up Carr Cooper & Mack, does anyone know if Oakland will have money to build the D up to grow with the current BIG 3 in Oakland??
    __________________________________________

    The Raiders are under the cap and are also under the required 89% minimum for payroll expenses which they have to meet very soon. So they are in great shape financially. He’s made the Free agent contracts basically “pay for play”, limited the guaranteed monies and made the yearly salaries negotiable.

    They won’t have any problem keeping their “core” players and hopefully won’t reset the market for Mack and Carr like other teams tend to do.

  15. Reggie’s first two drafts weren’t great but he didn’t have a lot to work with either. His first draft didn’t feature a pick until a comp pick at the end of round 3. I don’t know many GM’s that would get much out of a draft like that. The next year he took Hayden and Watson with the first two picks and neither has turned into much but both are on the team and playing at least. His best picks in that draft came in the 6th round where he drafted Latavius Murray, Mychal Rivera and Stacy McGee who are all playing key roles for the team. The drafts after the first two have been stellar and formed the core of this team going forward. He’s done a fantastic job of tearing down the old cap strapped roster and replacing it with a core of young elite talent that they can build around going forward. Reg is among the best in the league at putting a roster together and has proven that.

  16. Haters (aka jealous folks of the raider nation) going to hate, but there is no doubt it was a 5 year plan when Reggie took over. I have been saying it all along that it was two steps backwards in order to take take 3 steps forward. He blew the place up when he arrived, putting over 80 million in dead space from contract they had to absorb…and fielded a team with an active payroll of 30 million that first year. He has the books in order…they are still 45 million under cap next year. They haven’t even met the teams league minimum for cap space—–Bottom line they need to spend more money, unlike teams like the Eagles, Chiefs, Jets, and Cowboys who will have challenges this off season with the cap….so you know what…Go ahead and sign Carr early to a 6 to 7 year deal this year for 110 to 130 million….just front load it big time.

  17. Reggie and Jerry are the best GMs in the game right now.
    _____________________________________
    It was a five year plan why? Because you said so? LOL! How come the Raiders dont give their head coaches five years? They are usually gone in 2. Why is that exactly?

  18. bigbroncomama says:
    Dec 2, 2016 3:01 PM
    _____________________________________
    It was a five year plan why? Because you said so?

    – – – – – – – – – – – — — –

    you are spot on my raider hating brother! I shared the same vision as Reggie, and now seeing it come true…

    Go Raiders!!!! Go Reggie!!!!! ( and oh yeh, “Beat the Refs!!!)

  19. The fact is that this team will be a power house for years to come and they are at the salary cap FLOOR, not ceiling.

    Suck on that, haters. 🙂

  20. @bigbroncomama: C’mon, you can’t be serious?

    Newbie Nation? That’s hilarious.

    RAIDER NATION is global, it’s a brand akin to the Yankees and Manchester United.

    Everybody knows the shield and the Silver and Black.

    McKenzie is doing a good job and he’s doing it within the confines of the rules, unlike Elway’s SB Broncos of the past.

    The Raiders already smoked your boys in Oakland and I expect another ‘W’ in Mile High.

    Keep running around town in those ridiculous orange amd blue unis and brace yourself for missing the playoffs.

    Your boys are the current #7 seed and are on the outs.

    Seems like you have bigger things to worry about other than spewing trite nonsense.

    Carry on.

    Go RAIDERS

  21. bigbroncomama says:
    Dec 2, 2016 2:01 PM

    What’s he supposed to say? “They are our future but we’re not going to pay them”???

    Wait for it. Here comes Newbie Nation gushing about the greatness of this latest proclamation from their God Reggie!

    ————————
    The Raiders were good when the Donks had laughing horses on their helmets. babygaga obsesses on two things. Lame screen names, and the Raiders. Can’t wait for his mom to cut him off, so he will have to get a job and won’t have unlimited time to hide his limited manhood behind his endless Raider trolling.

  22. @bigbroncomama: C’mon, you can’t be serious?

    Newbie Nation? That’s hilarious.

    RAIDER NATION is global, it’s a brand akin to the Yankees and Manchester United.

    Everybody knows the shield and the Silver and Black.
    _____________________________________

    The Raiders are so global, every year they are looking for a new, paid for stadium in a new town. The Raiders are so global, a third of their stadium is tarped off because fans wont come to the games. The Raiders are so global, they led the league in NFL blacked out home games when that rule was still in effect. The Raiders are so global, their fans only watch them on free tv. Am I lying? Tell me, when was the last time the Raiders had a winning season besides this year? When was the last time they won a playoff game or even went to the playoffs?

    Sorry Newbies, Al is dead and with the exception of this year, which is far from over, you aint done nothing! Wake when you win the AFC West. Wake me when you go to the playoffs. Until then, bow down to your elders cause you aint done squat yet.

    Newbie Nation, you are so cute. Just like a teenager with his first Playboy mag. Awwwww.

  23. The Raiders were good when the Donks had laughing horses on their helmets.
    _____________________________________

    Oh, here we go. The Raiders were good back when Jimmy Carter was the President so that means they have always been good. Epic fail! Until this year, the Raiders have been the laughing stock of the NFL and completely irrelevant. After drafting in the top 10 every year for 14 years they finally are showing a strong pulse again although it takes most teams two years to turn it around, not two decades. Win a playoff game and get back to me!

    Signed,

    Avid Fan of the the Reigning SB Champions

  24. The plan is to pay your core guys, then fill in the roster with solid guys that you hit on in the mid to late rounds in the draft. The key is you have to hit on those draft picks. McKenzie shows the ability to do it. They got a franchise QB in the second round, when most teams think you have to tank your season to try for the #1 overall pick. They also got Conner Cook this year in the fourth round, and I think he could be better than Carr. He may not ever get on the field, but if Carr gets hurt, the Raiders will be fine. The Raiders are winning with Jack Del Rio. Jacksonville fired him and they’re still losing. The key to winning is the players, and McKenzie knows how to find them. John Elway does too, so the AFC West should be well represented for years to come.

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