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.