Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis on the field before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders answer Dennis Allen question, but have long way to go

As expected on Tuesday night, Mark Davis eventually met with Dennis Allen and the head coach was kept for the 2014 season. Davis as expected, backed off on the rumors that Allen’s job was ever in danger and while Tony Sparano left to be an assistant at Tampa Bay after refusing to sign a one year deal, the majority of assistants under Allen will be back as well according to CSN Bay Area’s Scott Bair.

That doesn’t mean the Raiders don’t have a ton of uncertainty remaining around the franchise heading into the offseason and free agency in the coming months.

$60 million plus in cap space still needs to be spent by general manager Reggie McKenzie, expiring contracts need to be made and a direction in which the team’s rebuild should go still needs to be decided as after two years of “deconstructing” the team has now ran out of time.

2014 is likely the final year in which McKenzie and the coach he picked to lead the rebuild in Allen will have to prove that they are actually improving the franchise. After two 4-12 seasons, getting out of salary cap hell and maintaining a semi-decent product are clearly no longer acceptable results for Mark Davis, nor should they be as the franchise attempts to stay in Oakland for the future and secure a new stadium deal.

Expiring contracts of key players such as Jared Veldheer, Rashad Jennings, Lamarr Houston, and a large handful of players who proved their worth to the Raiders on expiring contracts in 2013 will need to be addressed as will their value compared to the 2014 free agent class as McKenzie looks to balance cap space and retaining the talent he has right now.

The quarterback situation will also need to be addressed as McKenzie will need to decide whether or not to attempt to develop the steadily improving Matt McGloin or hope that Terrelle Pryor’s regression stemmed from injury and he can improve or find a quarterback through the slim pickings of free agency and the potentially promising draft class to find his answer. Could Johnny Manziel be the future? Or could the likes of Blake Bortles/Derek Carr be in the mix for a potential second round pick should they drop out of the first round? Or do veteran passers who are rumored to be on the way out of their former cities in Sam Bradford, Matt Schaub or Mike Vick catch the eye of McKenzie?

Everywhere you look on the Raiders depth chart there are holes to be filled, decisions to be made, and talented to be added to a team that shed around $70 million in cap space in just two seasons by sacrificing depth and roster continuity for the chance at rebuilding in their vision. How will Reggie McKenzie use that money? It might just be the deciding factor in between the Raiders becoming a success story or continuing the decade long pain of failed attempts at reaching the playoffs for the first time since their lone Super Bowl appearance of the 00′s. For now, the 2014 season is one that has many open ends and no clear answers. How McKenzie answers the Raiders problems will largely affect the careers of he and Allen, two respected assistants who were given their big break by Davis as GM/head coach.

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Tags: Dennis Allen Mark Davis Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie

  • PJ

    RM n Da are on the clock. With the money they have and a full draft class I want to see some notables brought in. No more no name losers or bad draft board pics. TP can be the starter with a vet QB in his corner. We need to focus primarily on O n D lines. If we cant keep our QB clean or burry theirs we have no shot. It all starts with the big men upfront that allows TP and our O to work as well as our D. Going with a rookie draft pic is all good but none of this class I can see making immediate impact. Al Davis used to say to them “your not here to be a star, but to learn and when you do then just win is all your here for” TP deserves a shot at a full 16 games. If he fails then no harm done. Now we all can put it to bed. If he wins, then thats what he is here for. Bottom line, vet QB and trench men have to be brought in to have any chance against KC or donkeys.

  • jim

    Agree with you on most of those points PJ but TP “aint no starter” In this league! He has a lot of ability but just isn’t “quarterback smart” like a Manning , Brady,or even McGloin for that matter! Need some WR talent too! No true #1 receiver in the house…..yet!

  • Ricky Bobby

    TP 3-6 as starter, MM 1-5 losing the last 5 yet he is steadily improving while TP is regressing?? #BIAS

  • Jetlife510

    Ricky and PJ good points. TP has that spark ever since that chargers game and that pre season game against the bears he is like a cam newton BUT he needs that solid O line and a good veteran WR. If they build a good O Line around Pryor him and rashad jennings will be a threat to the D

  • Stanley Carr

    Ain’t no top fa coming to us after back to back 4-12 season , we r fucked!!!

  • DanfromVegas

    Solid writing job, little speculation or hearsay, good analysis and insight.

  • DanfromVegas

    The record means nothing. If you saw most of the games, when McGloin came in for Pryor it was like a revelation. McGloin didn’t take stupid sacks, made good and quick decisions, and made some pretty amazing passes. The offense looked its absolute best all season with McGloin at QB. The running attack improved as well as the passing attack. The difference in wins and losses was due to the play of the defense.

  • John Camp

    the majority of free agents are lookin for a nice check, it only makes sense, you pay them and they will play

  • David Echard

    TP the starter? He probably will not even be on the team come April.
    When are you TP supporters going to wake up?
    He is not and WIll not ever be a franchise QB in this league ever.
    You win in the NFL with a Franchise QB. Period. Not O-Line, Not D-Line. QB.
    Take a look at the playoffs right now. Take a good hard look: Brees, Wilson, Luck, Manning, Kaepernick, Brees, Brady, and Newton. Franchise QBs. TP can be the water boy for these guys.
    If he wants to play wide receiver or tight end, give him a look. In addition, he’s not very smart.
    Low Football IQ.

  • David Echard

    How about they both are not the answer.

  • David Echard

    Cam Newton? PLease don’t insult Newton. Do you need to see another 4-12 season with TP on board. I don’t think Reggie and DA are that stupid. They would like to keep their job beyond mid season.

  • Silvia Arredondo

    I’m tired of all these negative comments about Allen and Mckenzie. Instead of complaining I’m going to say this: I just hope we will finally be good in 2014 as promised! There is only one way from here… And that is up!

  • Rees Britton

    Thats the second time Ive seen you use the word bias, where it doesn’t even make sense. Why would the writer be biased? He’s a writer for the Raider blog…
    If you actually look at stats and/or actually watched the games TP did in fact regress. He started off playing really well and then from the KC game on not good, not even kind of. In his first 4 games he had 4 passing tds to only 2 INT. The last 5 games just 3 tds to 8 ints. Sorry homie thats regression… not being biased.
    Do I think its time to scrap either one? NO… but chill out with your biased comment!

  • Jetlife510

    We need a QB with passion and thats PRYOR. He needs a solid O line. Some people just dont see that spark he has like some of us just like AL seen in him.

  • Bob

    “and maintaining a semi-decent product”

    What team were you watching Chase? Gave up a RECORD tieing seven TD passes in one game, gave up a FRANCHISE RECORD 56 points and went 4 – 12 AGAIN.

  • Phil Mokate

    finally an intelligent football IQ. Unlike litl drumr boy radrconfusion who still suckn on mommy’s titty! TP is a good hard working kid who has that spark and feeling of a winner when he steps on the field. Unlike MM who points fingers at his w.o. and yells at them. That is no leader not to mention every team passed on him except RM n DA of course. But look at the quality of their pics the last two years? Trend Edwards? more ints then Tds and 50% comp.

  • Jetlife510

    Thank you brother. Was i the only one who seen TP burst at the Bears vs Raiders game? He came back once he was sent in. We need those types of players.

  • Phil Mokate

    Not only then, but the Steelers game. MM beat the worst team in the NFL and people are stuck on numbers with this guy What they don’t want to see is TP got hurt from no protection. Of course he can only run for so long before the inevitable happened. MM steps in the exact week we get our O line back healthy first time all year. Olsen sets him up with quick hitch routes to avoid the rush and he looks like Peyton with protection. Then he and the team started to tank from there and he could not beat a half way decent team and got worse as time went on with a healthy O line. To throw TP in after being iced for 6 games against the Broncos? What did DA expect him to do? I wanted to see MM play them and see how bad he really is.