Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Should Reggie McKenzie be More Aggressive?

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Reggie McKenzie has taken some well-deserved heat this free agency period. The debacle that was the Rodger Saffold signing made the fans seriously question what was going on, as well as who was actually running the show. The Austin Howard signing was a good signing to help bolster the offensive line. The acquisitions of Justin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley made it obvious to me that the line of scrimmage was a priority for Reggie McKenzie and the Oakland Raiders.

Some believe that bringing in Justin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley were great moves for the team. Some believe it was the Raiders front office trying to throw the Raider Nation a bone so they would stop taking a beating publicly. I fall somewhere in the middle. While I think bringing in veterans with Super Bowl rings can help the locker room, I also realize both players might be past their prime.  I believe Justin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley have the ability to really help this team both on and off the field but I don’t expect them to be the saviors of the franchise. They are good veterans who I expect to help a young team grow over the next two years.

I do commend Reggie McKenzie for sticking to his guns even after taking tons of scrutiny. He is trying to build this team through the draft and use free agency as a way to complement the roster instead of paying top dollar for mediocre players. I will not say McKenzie has done an excellent job but I will say he has a plan, which is something this franchise has needed for over a decade.

I think the Oakland Raiders front office should be more aggressive with a few of the remaining free agents. Henry Melton is a player I think the Oakland Raiders should be making a serious attempt at signing. Melton is coming off an ACL tear last season but I believe he is still has a lot in the tank. He is only twenty-seven and pairing him with Jutin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley could potentially make the Raiders front seven pretty good. Henry Melton is a physical player in the middle of the defense, something the Raiders might miss after losing Pat Sims and Vance Walker to free agency.

Another player I would like to see the Raiders bring in for a visit is Antonio Cromartie. With Walter Thurmond going to the New York Giants, Cromartie is a player the Raiders should be trying to get in the silver and black. The Raiders are desperate for corners so I see no reason why he should not be on the radar of Reggie McKenzie. He fits the defensive system as a corner that can hold his own running man coverage as well as cover a zone effectively. Seeing that the Oakland Raiders have to play the Denver Broncos twice a year I don’t mind bringing in Cromartie for a year or two at around four to five million. Walter Thurmond got a one-year deal for $3.5 million so giving Cromartie slightly more to play in Oakland is fine with me. My only fear is overpaying for Antonio Cromartie simply because it’s the Raiders.

I don’t think Reggie McKenzie has done horribly as some people would imply but I would like to see him be slightly more aggressive. I know he comes from Green Bay where they do not really participate in free agency but this is not Green Bay, its Oakland. I want him to keep his own philosophy but sometimes you have to switch to up a little and take a risk or two.

Right now, I’d give Reggie McKenzie a grade of a C. The Rodger Saffold situation was embarrassing to him as well as the Oakland Raiders organization. If it was not for that, McKenzie might be in the C+, B- range.  I want to see Reggie be more aggressive but I’m glad he isn’t making erratic decisions in desperate attempts to save his job.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Free Agency Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie

  • K Hendricks

    Totally agree with your analogy.

  • Guido

    I’m a fan of what we have done. Too many times we have thrown money at people and the result has been bad. RM is doing 2 year deals with these guys that will help build a winning culture in then locker took and planning on building through the draft like most winning teams do

  • Pridenpoise

    Your C grade could be considered generous.

  • Bob

    Yes, bring in three more quality FAs to two year deals.

  • Robert Valenz

    Yes he does need to be more aggresive. So far Reggie kind of made up for that Saffold deal, but Mark Davis and raider nation want to see results now. We finally have the money, so why not go all in! The additions so far are decent, but its time. Names are falling off the board to fast. I think we need to sign Jared Allen to line up with tuck or Melton, then sign Mike Jenkins because I dont think there much top CB’s available still. Sign Mike Vic for QB. Get rid of Jacoby Ford amd sign Devin Hester for special teams. Draft Sammy Watkins and offer Doednald Penn what he wants! Those are wishes but can be reality with the money we have…open the Reggister!

  • Robert Valenz

    So far Reggie kind of made up for that Saffold deal, but Mark Davis and raider nation want to see results now. We finally have the money, so why not go all in! The additions so far are decent, but its time. Names are falling off the board to fast. I think we need to sign Jared Allen to line up with tuck or Melton, then sign Mike Jenkins because I dont think there much top CB’s available still. Sign Mike Vic for QB. Get rid of Jacoby Ford and sign Devin Hester for special teams. Draft Sammy Watkins and offer Donald Penn what he wants! Those are wishes but can be reality with the money we have…open the Reggister!

  • JoeSchmoo

    Overpaying because it is the Raiders? Read your own column idiot. You want Raiders to be more aggressive ie pay more money. You contradicted yourself. Typical sports writer.

  • G. Wright

    I think losing Lamar Houston and valdheer were the two biggest mistakes of free agency

  • Guido

    I felt the same at first. But then I thought about it more and I dont think Houston is worth the big bucks he wanted. DE in the NFL need to be pass rushers. DT are the run stuffers. With the NFL being so pass oriented you need a pass rush. So I don’t mind Houston leaving. Veldheers price was inflated for his abilities. He’s good but he isn’t pro bowl caliber and f him anyway. Said he wanted to be a Raider form life…. all talk

  • Guido

    I see what you did there with reggister

  • Tom Mitchel

    They wanted top money , the both of them did not deserve , plus both wanted to leave any way

  • Tom Mitchel


  • JonandLaura Miller


  • Rob Banks

    Might not like Vick but it was only a few years ago he out right earned a starting position in philly and was a fantasy football dream come true. His accuracy, decision making and speed were all on point. Additionally, he’s still the fastest player on Philly’s roster whooping all challengers in friendly competition. He’s definitely worth a look and IMHO, better than 75% of all other qb’s out there.

  • Rob Banks

    Houston was not an elite pass rusher. Veldheer was slightly above average at best. His rookie season was his best year then he regressed. Grab a true LT in the first round, then address the secondary through the draft and this Raider team is very game. Besides, Houston wanted out anyway. Why keep a player who didn’t want to play in Oakland? I give Reggie a ‘B’ thus far.

  • Pridenpoise

    Your expectations seem to be on par with your critiquing dismal.

  • KloverJane

    Probably so. But isn’t he doing well by day 5

  • Rob Banks

    I’m a realist that doesn’t fall for the hype. Very seldom does big name signings build success especially here in Oakland where history tends to repeat itself but how ever you want to view it, I still stand by my assesment. I liked Veldheer a lot but I understand why they let him walk. I think they like Watson more at LT anyway. Plus, you can’t undermine Veldheer’s injury. Torn tri’s depending on the tear don’t always heal back to 100% strength. Could be a liability. Still, Houston and Veldheer were not elite players. Sure, we should have resigned them but at the same time its not like they can’t be replaced. Most drafts have us picking OL in the first anyway pre-veldheer leaving.

  • TomaterRaider

    I really don’t see how the Saffold thing was an embarrassment to anyone other than the media. Every player takes a physical before they sign. It is called a contingency signing – you pass the physical, you are signed. The fellow did not disclose the shoulder needing to be operated on and therefore wasn’t signed, period.
    So, what media source do you want to believe or not believe on who made the decision to not sign Saffold – it really doesn’t matter because he wasn’t signed as it should be, The Raiders were under the impression and prepared to sign a race ready player and not was not what they were getting if they signed Saffold, plain and simple – nothing to be ashamed of unless you are a member of the media looking for some sort of angle for a story.
    Since it is the Raiders the media has no reservation of skewing a story to make the point come out however they want. Bottom line – the Raiders did the right thing for a change but the media want it to appear as a black eye.
    No doubt that Reggie gets this thing turned around (as the premise of this story – or at least it is what I believed it to be) and then people will be looking at John Elway as the new Al Davis…. Wait and see…

  • Pridenpoise

    Reggie’s has made his share of screw ups already, Houston was never going to resign, but Veldheer was, and to say that his first season in Oakland was his best is laughable, the guy has done nothing but improve. I’m not one of these guys that knocks a player just because he’s no longer here. The Raiders have missed out on keeping a few guys that in my opinion should have been held on to. He has also missed out on a few FA’s that I think we could have used. As a fan of 35 years that gives me the right to voice my displeasure, I’m not going to blindly clap and have a parade for Reggie just because he has the title of Raiders GM. He made some very questionable moves last season in the draft, and in signing Flynn, so I don’t think I’m off base when I say that I’m not sure if Reggie is the man for the job, but we shall see. Because we both know if this year is a debacle he will be out on his ass.

  • Rob Banks

    It’s not as if I’m choosing to look at the world through rosey colored shades here — I know there have been many questionable moves; mainly pay or don’t pay, but I don’t put that all on Reggie. Davis jr was the one behind the Saffold rejection. I just don’t want any Tommy Kelly’s here or those looking for a retirement check i.e. salary cap purgatory especially when you can get the same for much less. But that’s the dilemma being a Raider fan. Its bad enough when the best fa available, i.e. Revis, tells us to don’t bother. And Veldheer wasn’t getting better. His second season he did regress. Last season its too hard to tell because he was battling injury (and the long term effects of it). All I know is from some source, they were planning on moving him inside which is something he would have never agreed to . But considering that, it should tell you where the organizations mindset was considering the draft

  • Pridenpoise

    Veldheer has been the Raiders best O-lineman for the past 4 years, the Raiders are supposed to be keeping the core young guys “that they draft” and build around them. Reggie’s words verbatim. The Raiders blew it with Veldeer, everyone has their theories and their ” inside info” the fact is the let him go with a back up plan that blew up in their face. The Raiders low balled Veldher plain and simple. The offer was shown and it was pathetic 8 million guaranteed, it’s no wonder he left. I don’t know what games you were watching but Jared was a steal and has been the most consistent player on our line, yes he got injured last year, I’ve got news for you players get hurt, look at Reggie’s FA pickups they all have a history of injury. I could care less if you fail to see the Raiders let one of their best players walk with no replacement, yes they can draft one, BUT WE HAD ONE. I’m tired of people blowing Reggie and talking like he’s the saviour, when all the guy has done is cut salaries of overpriced players who were just collecting a paycheque, and for this reason I’m supposed to be all giddy. The proof will be in September and as it stands right now we could be in trouble.

  • qualified GM wanted

    by aggressive, i hope you aren’t including this rumored trade for matt schaub. everyone and their mother knows schaub is going to be released. we have to most money to offer him, a guaranteed starting position for him, and he gets to wear the silver and black. i hope reggie mckinzie isn’t foolish enough to give up our valuable draft picks for him. if anything, offer houston terrelle pryor (since management has already given up on him). we need our draft picks!

  • James Schroeder

    Neither one of those players were elite despite what the media would have you believe. The Raiders know exactly what they are doing. Houston was average, Veldeer was slightly above average. Just because they were the best players on a team full of mediocre players doesn’t make them great players. The Raiders did offer them both contracts but they wanted more money than they were worth and letting them go was smart.

    Put it this way, Houston had a combined 16 sacks in four years, Justin Tuck had 11 sacks last year. There’s no disputing that we upgraded that position. Houston never saw a pro bowl and Justin Tuck lives in the Pro bowl as an All-Pro with two Super Bowl rings. Between Woodley and Tuck we would have more quarterback sacks then Houston had in his whole entire career in just 1 season.

  • Rob Banks

    Exactly. It was a pathetic offer; definitely not the future of your franchise starting LT money! And that’s my whole entire point. I dont think they saw in him that. Saying he’s been one of our best starting linemen isn’t really saying much considering the company he’s been in but I think Arizona will find out sooner rather than later if he’s worth that kind of money. I guess you and I will just to agree to disagree on that one. I rather use this draft to solidify the left side rather than take my chances on someone who’s been ‘consistent’ with the exception of the past couple of years. Arizona was the only other team that showed any real interest in him and that probably had more to do with his close relationship with Palmer than anything.

    Fact is, Jennings who no one wanted previous to last season, Houston not wanting to be here, and Veldheer who I liked but didn’t value as much as you, I don’t view them as high value players that can’t be replaced. If that makes me a Reggie believer so be it. I just remember 10 years plus of over paying players who were not producing on field.

  • Pridenpoise

    Well maybe if there was more talent around Jared, their would not have been so much pressure on him, when we lost him this season the O-line suffered immensely, a sign that he is indeed a great player, and I can guarantee you that if Reggie had it to do over again he would pay Veldheer, instead of Saffold who he tried to overpay, was injury prone and injured to boot. And I would hardly slot Veldher into the category of overpaid players that have been on the roster in the last ten years, fact is he was a great pick out of a small school in the the later rounds, he played well for Oakland, and deserved to be compensated for it, to say that Arizona was the only team interested is not accurate, he got a fair deal and signed it on the first day of FA. I don’t think he was out shopping himself, he just wanted to be paid accordingly. He was also ranked the second best O behind Albert, if Arizona had not signed him it’s not like the guy would have had a hard time finding a team. The Raiders loss is the Cardinals gain, but as you said, opinions , everyone’s got them and happen to disagree with you on a few. The one thing I’m sure we both agree on is hoping the Raiders turn it around, trust me nothing would make me happier than seeing the Raiders win 8 games next year, will it happen, who knows.

  • Ya_D_Got_Raided


  • Raider Grant

    We don’t need McKenzie being to aggressive, but having Donald Penn leaving without contract sucks a donk! Get er Done McKenzie! If we sign Schaub I’ll puke, we don’t need this guy , Sanchez, Vick, or Freeman. Go Raiders