First it was Philip Wheeler. Then it was Desmond Bryant. Matt Shaughnessy was the next to leave and on Saturday Brandon Myers was the next critical contributor from last season’s Oakland Raiders to leave the Bay Area. The four men were probably some of the best free agents Oakland had this offseason, yet none of them were offered a contract by the Raiders.
The moves were all part of the rebuilding process of Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie. Given the fact McKenzie decided not to bring back any of the players listed above and released Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Huff, it is clear the Raiders are moving in a different direction.
The rebuilding process will be slow and painful for many Raiders fans next season. The team had made no effort to upgrade at any positions of needs through free agency and instead has tried to free up more cap space. Fans have to trust McKenzie knows what he is doing because he has been successful before, but that the Raiders are an entirely different organization. Oakland does not have many high draft picks this season so it is not like McKenzie can use the NFL Draft to help bolster and improve the roster.
McKenzie’s inactivity in free agency has also been very troubling to say the least. Although Nick Roach and Pat Sims are quality players, they do not to begin to address Oakland’s defensive concerns. The Raiders should in theory grab a playmaker in the first round, but that won’t be enough to turn this team around next season.
So Raiders fans have to stay patient next season. Oakland won’t be very good next season given where the roster stands at this point. At the same time, fans have to trust in McKenzie’s plan because your faith will be rewarded.