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Reggie McKenzie Has Had Great Offseason for Oakland Raiders

General Manager Has Been Very Aggressive so Far

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COMMENTARY | Reggie McKenzie knew the disaster he was walking into when he took the job as general manager of the Oakland Raiders 15 months ago.

McKenzie was left with far too many overpaid players and hardly any draft picks. He had to get rid of players like Stanford Routt, Michael Bush and Kamerion Wimbley just to make last year's payroll.

The man inherited a financial nightmare.

In his second offseason as general manager of the Raiders, McKenzie has made some head-turning decisions.

He failed to re-sign Philip Wheeler, Brandon Myers and Desmond Bryant, Oakland's top three free agents from last season.

He also cut the ridiculous contracts of Tommy Kelly, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Huff.

In the beginning of free agency, McKenzie picked up mediocre veterans for cheap because the team is in far too deep in dead money.

However, McKenzie has brought in some bargain talent as well.

He was able to sign a very versatile and underrated linebacker in Nick Roach, and a Super Bowl-winning cornerback in Tracy Porter.

But McKenzie's biggest move was trading Carson Palmer and his $13 million contract to the Arizona Cardinals.

In the process, he was able to bring an unproven Matt Flynn to fill Palmer's shoes. Though it's still to be seen if this move was a good one, McKenzie saved the team millions by getting rid of Palmer's burden of a contract.

Needless to say, the Raiders have had one of the busiest offseasons of any team in the NFL, and McKenzie isn't finished yet.

The Raiders are still in talks about inquiring former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins, and it wouldn't be surprising at all to see McKenzie pull the trigger to bring the veteran to Oakland.

McKenzie has taken some serious heat from critics this offseason, myself included.

I wasn't a fan of his initial signings of Kaluka Maiava, Pat Sims and Jason Hunter and I'm still not.

But after the last couple of weeks, McKenzie has built depth on this team, and he's saving money in the process.

He's gashing every tie from the Al Davis regime and building a new identity for a franchise associated with excruciating negativity.

McKenzie proved he could build a winner in Green Bay.

He left one of the best front office jobs in the NFL to come to an Oakland franchise that was on the verge of self-imploding. The man knows what he's doing.

It's going to take one more year for McKenzie to rid the franchise of the millions and millions of dead money it's tied down to, but the team is heading in the right direction.

McKenzie has proven he's not afraid to do whatever he wants, and with the draft only three weeks away, who knows what tricks he has up his sleeve.

All we can do is wait. And hope.

Steven Slivka is a Freelance Writer for the Oakland Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka

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