The Raiders have made a major commitment to Reggie McKenzie. Owner Mark Davis on Friday night announced a new four-year extension for his general manager.
Davis announced the news in front of more than 100 Raiders alumni in Napa this weekend as the team kicks off training camp.
“Reggie’s contract was up at the end of this year and we felt it was time to reward him for the job that he has done,” Davis said, per a team release.
McKenzie is entering his fifth year as Raiders general manager and his contract now extends until 2020. He delivered his best offseason since coming to Oakland in 2012, which followed a long run as a Green Bay executive.
The Raiders lured in three of the more attractive free agents this offseason. Offensive guard Kelechi Osemele, outside linebacker Bruce Irvin and cornerback Sean Smith were all added. They also nabbed safety Reggie Nelson, the NFL’s co-leader in interceptions last season.
Those came in addition to a core roster stocked with quarterback Derek Carr, a second-round pick in 2014. He also drafted a pair of top-five home run picks in defensive end Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper.
Suddenly, the Raiders appear to be on the verge of strong playoff contention. They’ve emerged a chic pick as one of the NFL’s breakout teams this season.
It’s been quite a hill to climb for McKenzie, who in 2012 took over a team lacking both in talent and salary cap space.
The Raiders won just 11 games his first three seasons combined. He endured a 2012 draft in which the Raiders didn’t have a pick until the third round. Nobody from that initial draft class remains on the roster.
The 2013 draft wasn’t his greatest either, with first rounder DJ Hayden so far failing to live up to his No. 12 overall status. He did, however, land Pro Bowl running back Latavius Murray in the sixth round that season.
The turnaround came began 2014 when he grabbed Mack and Carr. He also drafted starting right guard Gabe Jackson and starting defensive tackle Justin Ellis in the first four rounds. His past two classes also seem to have strong potential. Mario Edwards Jr., Clive Walford, Ben Heeney, Karl Joseph and Jihad Ward all look to be in line to start or make a strong impact.