Unfortunately, and like any change, there will always be some type of loss. In the Raiders case, this meant losing two players who have been cornerstones during the last few losing seasons. Of course I’m speaking of LT Jared Veldheer and DE Lamarr Houston. Make no mistake, McKenzie has a number that every player is worth, and he will not exceed that number. The offers were on the table, and those two players sought employment elsewhere. I don’t fault Veldheer, Houston, or McKenzie. This is a game, but we the fans also have to understand that it’s a business too.
Again, with any change there is loss, but there is also new life or a chance to start anew. In the case of the Oakland Raiders, this came in the form of DE Justin Tuck. Some would say that he’s old, but age is just a number. It’s all about how a person feels. If taken care of properly, a person’s body can last a long time. Justin Tuck learned long ago about the importance of managing his health. Although there have been setbacks, he has persevered.
True, the re-signing of OT Khalif Barnes kicked off the Raiders free agency prior to March 11th, but once the news of Justin Tuck’s signing broke other players around the league began to look toward Oakland. They realized that maybe things aren’t as bad as the media would have them believe. As the contracts began to be handed out slowly in Oakland, the pundits poked and prodded at the Raiders. They bashed McKenzie for not blowing the wad of cash he was resting upon. McKenzie just went about his business and began to form the team he wants. His philosophy, win the football game in the trenches. Before Tuck had signed, RMac signed RB Darren McFadden, then OL/RT Austin Howard, then Tuck, OLB LaMarr Woodley, DE Antonio Smith, DB Tarell Brown, S Usama Young, OG Kevin Boothe, and now WR James Jones.