Raiders extend McKenzie four more years

Four more years.

Raiders owner Mark Davis extended the contract of general manager Reggie McKenzie four years, in front of a crowd of alumni.

McKenzie’s tenure has been interesting, and after two very rocky years, has begun to look very bright.

Inheriting a salary cap disaster and a roster full of malcontents, he had a major job on his hands.

After assembling a staff, McKenzie traded away quarterback Carson Palmer and a seventh round pick in his second year, for a sixth round selection in 2013. That year’s draft class was widely regarded as the weakest in the 21st century, and it wasn’t until 2014 when the team began looking like something other than a loser.

Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and Gabe Jackson were taken in the first three rounds, and standout corner T.J. Carrie drafted in the last round. 2015 was more of the same, with Amari Cooper, Mario Edwards Jr. and Clive Walford all showing serious signs of promise.

With those classes, the Raiders went from winning 11 games over three seasons, to a 7-9 record that could have been much better if a few things swung the right way.

And the 2016 Raiders are expected nationally to compete for a playoff slot.

Until the Raiders win a playoff game or two, McKenzie’s tenure can’t be called a success. But the odds of that happening appear to be pretty darned good in year five, and certainly beyond.


Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Raiders football.