Even after all of the contract restructuring, roster moves and frugal spending the Oakland Raiders are still up against the salary cap. Some speculate the Raiders have less than $2-million available to both sign their draft class and add more free agents. Reggie McKenzie said the team has less than $4-million and left it at that.
The exact number is unimportant. What is staggering is how much McKenzie has done just to get to this point. Imagine what things would have been like were Al Davis still with us or if Hue Jackson was still playing general manager with Monopoly money.
McKenzie knew what he was up against before taking Mark Davis’ job offer. The entire football world was well aware of the free spending policies of Al Davis. If he was still calling the shots you’ve got to wonder what moves would have been made.
Would Davis have preferred keeping Stanford Routt over Kamerion Wimbley? Would Michael Bush have been shown the money and Tyvon Branch the exit? Would the Raiders even have been able to sign any free agents?
All things being considered McKenzie has pulled off a minor miracle of sorts. He’s managed to get this franchise under the cap while still addressing some very pressing needs in free agency. The hope is that McKenzie will get a large return on some small investments made on veteran players.
As mentioned previously, there are still more holes to fill. McKenzie needs a replacement for Wimbley and a backup for Carson Palmer. It’s possible the free agent spending is over with the emphasis now shifting to the upcoming draft. That is were the real magic will occur as Oakland has very little to work with in terms of draft pick. Even then more accounting magic will have to be worked in order to free up cash.
After coming this far in such a short period of time there is no doubt McKenzie will keep grinding until Dennis Allen has a full compliment of players to coach up once camp opens. Until then don’t expect many sensational headlines coming out of Oakland in the coming months. At least none that involve spending money.