It's been years since the Oakland Raiders have been in a position to succeed but now there's a buzz around the team that they haven't had in over a decade. That is largely the result of general manager Reggie McKenzie's work.
McKenzie was hired by owner Mark Davis in 2012 and came into a building that had a culture of losing, salary-cap nightmares, and a unstable franchise. McKenzie has been a big part in changing all of that.
The longtime Green Bay Packers scout and former Raiders linebacker quickly purged the roster of any bad contracts, putting him in a position to have some cap room in the future. This allowed him to land big-time free agents this year such as linebacker Bruce Irvin, cornerback Sean Smith and offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele.
McKenzie, always considered a strong eye for talent, has also done well in the draft. He landed linebacker Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper in the first round, but also found starters and Pro Bowlers in the later rounds like quarterback Derek Carr and offensive lineman Gabe Jackson.
Now, the Raiders are rewarding their general manager. Davis has given McKenzie a four-year extension, he announced during a dinner in front of the Raiders alumni in town for the start of training camp.
McKenzie's contract was going to be done at the end of the year but will now run through 2021.