No Suh, no Murray? No problem. GM Reggie McKenzie and FS Charles Woodson are excited about start of free agency


Give Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie some credit for being frank. He didn’t trot out the tired personnel man’s line of insisting everything went exactly to plan.

Yes, the Raiders went after defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and didn’t get him. As well as some other players, probably including running back DeMarco Murray. That’s the nature of free agency.

“Every year, you go after a lot of guys, and you don’t get ’em all,” McKenzie said Saturday night before the Raiders’ Commitment to Excellence dinner honoring free safety Charles Woodson. “Our intent was to go hard and heavy after each one of these guys, and we were able to land a whole bunch of guys that we really liked. We fell really good about the players that we’ve added to our roster.”

McKenzie wasn’t going to give any details, but he conceded Suh, who signed a $114 million contract with $60 million guaranteed, was a person of interest. Asked if the Raiders were in the mix, McKenzie said, “Not to elaborate, but yes, we were. We went after him.”

Woodson, who spent time at the facility in a recruiting capacity, said most of the players he talked to had essentially signed on before he talked to them. He said missing out on Suh may actually pay off in terms of depth.

“There’s no question that Suh would have been huge. He would have been a great addition to the team,” Woodson said. “At the same time, if you don”t get a Suh, you can get three or four other players to make up for it. And what that does is build depth.

“Then you’ve got the draft coming up. You have the potential to build the team the way you want to. Just because you didn’t get one guy, we’ll have the opportunity to build this team the right way and that’s what Reggie’s looking at.”

A succession of newly signed free agents formed a conference call conga line Wednesday espousing the feeling that something big is going on at Harbor Bay Parkway, including center Rodney Hudson, defensive tackle Dan Williams, linebacker Curtis Lofton, linebacker Lee Smith, linebacker Malcolm Smith and running back Roy Helu Jr.

It’s what they’re supposed to say. They got big paydays, it was no time for negativity.

Woodson and McKenzie insist they feel the same way.

“The vibe is crazy right now,” Woodson said. “A lot of positive energy coming from everybody in there. The great part about it is you have a lot of (coaches) who are ex-players, so I think the energy is kind of innately there . .. they have that natural energy.

“It’s been great to talk to ’em and get their vision. I think it’s going to be a great year for us.”

Said McKenzie: “No question it is legitimate. The guys feel, they know, the players know, the coaches know. I think they’re feeding each other. The whole building is feeling it.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • johnny

    sorry dad, I was just sayin’…sheesh

  • MuthaFknZeus

    Is Derek Carr really going to be a HOF QB for us? Makes things a lot easier.

  • Reuel Smith

    here’s what I find immoral. an owner who is using his fathers legendary sports icon franchise as his private trust fund. He should never have been in charge. He fired Hue for what? He got rid of Amy for what? He wants to move the Raiders to LA. He thinks he’s one of the billionaires club. He could have given Oakland a great legacy with a new stadium/sports complex. His GM is an embarrassment, but he’s been doing exactly as ordered.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    What’s that record look like in the salary cap era…

  • last year was a different story, and 10 starters new starters will basically guarantee that you’re gonna have a rough start…

  • The Florida Pete

    you’re a little over the top and way out of line…

  • Rick Worth

    Did Al not think he was never going to die. What was the plan for that?

  • Raidman

    Haha. We have been the winners of the salary cap bowl for now for 2 years: happy?

  • SaintKaufman

    I deem you, “Richter”.

  • RaYdAFoELyPh

    AL DAVIS made Ron Wolf…TRUTH just ask RTF

  • intelligent humor is not welcome here.

  • Reuel Smith

    11 wins over the last 3 years and I’M out of line??

  • SaintKaufman

    shut up!

  • MuthaFknZeus

    52-0 Most pathetic football game I’ve ever seen.

    0-10 to start


  • THERE’s my guy! hahaha.

  • Reuel Smith

    the ultimate Roman emperor story i guess. His greatest strength and weakness.

  • Dakota

    Al Davis’ fault I am sure…..

  • SaintKaufman

    I can dumb it down as far as you want. No really, that’s where I’m at my best, naturally!!

  • NYCRaider

    We ignored Wrs in the trade and Free agency market because we will draft a WR. But it not fair to expect production until year 3? Welcome to the Philadelphia 76ers of the NFL

  • iRock

    Because the packer way is a safer way for a GM to go. it helps you build a decent, competetive team that can win against anyone on a good day and loose against most on a bad one. You’re always 2-3 great draft picks to become an awesome team and you almost never have a losing season. On a regular team that hasn’t been as depleted of talent as we have, that would be good enough to just compete and be there.

  • Rick Worth


  • quantity of quality. that’s this blog’s motto right?

  • MuthaFknZeus

    New post..

  • MuthaFknZeus

    Non other..

  • SaintKaufman

    Streater, Thompkins, Butler. All year 4 players. They ready!!

  • The Florida Pete

    wins and losses don’t justify the vitriol of your post… I happen to like Mark Davis and I am rooting for him…
    too many people in this blog seem to take too much pleasure in hammering Mark… and talking about how he’s not qualified, etc….
    I never saw a course at any of the colleges I attended called: NFL Ownership 101 … he’s winging it just like all the other 31 owners…
    personally I like this off season way better than the previous 3… I have hope for the first time since Dennis Allen was named head coach… and I like that feeling…

  • SaintKaufman

    You know it brother. But hey, I could be smashing my face against the pro audio wall again, but I’m better at wasting my time doing this.

  • RaYdAFoELyPh


  • Reuel Smith

    well, let’s hope you’re right. I ain’t buying it.

  • NYCRaider

    Is thomkins signed? Very nervous about Streater, leg injuries have destroyed us in the past 3 years

  • just sayin

    last year we had what 9 or 10 new starters just on the D? that was crazy

  • SaintKaufman

    Thompkins is signed, I have to believe if Streater wasn’t ready they wouldn’t have tendered him. I hope he comes back same same.

  • RTF916

    I was just sayin’ too. Ya know.

  • StrongGrogCharlie

    for Hayden its really year 2 also. He was down most of his rookie year.

  • Zymurge

    Is Lofton better than Roach? Of course he is, Roach may never play again. He’s also younger and put up better seasons in tackles than Roach has in his entire career.

    Allen is likely better for the team than Branch because he is cheaper, younger, and comes with a less colored injury history that puts him on the field more often, and has played for winning teams.

    Williams as compared to Sims is another clear winner. Two years younger, a former 1st round pick that has consistently played like one, compared to a 3rd round talent that mostly played in his range as well. Williams is clearly superior which is why was in high demand this year whereas Sims signed with a Raiders team at a time when they were at the bottom and had zero competitive edge, which speaks to his lack of demand.

    Helu over DMac, sure if you want to compare backups. DMac the better blocker but not much else at this point in his career.

    Overall, each of those players is a slight to significant upgrade. Everyone of them is also younger, which all other things being equal, is of serious importance since this is the core of the team that will be looking to win the SB in the 2016-2017 range.

  • tuckrulefool

    LOL. You value bust/boom guy over a know KNOWN beast. I want to do some business with you!

  • tuckrulefool


  • absolutely the worst possible way to build a team. go ahead, find me the last time a franchise tagged player was taken away from his team for 2 first round draft picks. I’ll wait.

  • Paper Tiger

    It was so good!

  • rml

    Well there was Mao, who made practicing religion punishable by death, then killed over 100 million of his own people(UN estimates). Or the Darwinist, who then became the humanist of Europe that founded the Facist of the 1930’s.

  • FourMoreYears


  • Al

    To be Honest as much as I wanted Suh on board, not just because of what he brings on the field but I feel like it would also open the doors for other good free agents come on board, but there’s no way I saw him worth $100Milion worth, so part of me is happy that we didn’t get him because of all that money that can be used for other free agents and part of me wishes we would of but its a done deal and I think we have signed some solid players and we have the draft coming up

  • Chuck

    If Reggie didn’t say it you probably haven’t heard anything else,you probably think we were a play or two away from the super bowl.

  • OLR8R

    Has anyone in the Raiders front office noticed that Phillip Wheeler is available? I do recall him being one of the very few bright spots that we had to let walk during the clean-up of the cap-from-Hell.