After enduring three years of losing, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is finally starting to see his rebuilding plan pay off a little, writes Josh Dubow of The Associated Press. With young players like Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Khalil Mack contributing significantly to an improved Raiders team, McKenzie suggests that he and the club has to “take the punches” for a few years.
“The key was really looking at the big picture, not get so down on myself and the team at that point knowing what was ahead of me,” McKenzie said. “It wasn’t easy. I’m used to being in the playoffs. I haven’t been since I’ve been here. That’s the goal.”
Here’s more from out of the NFL’s West divisions:
- Joel Corry of CBSSports.com takes a look at how the Raiders‘ roster and cap management got the team to this spot, and speculates on what the next move is for Oakland.
- Cardinals GM Steve Keim told Arizona Sports 98.7 that he’s gearing up to speak to agents about contract extensions, as Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com writes. Keim didn’t specify which players he’ll be targeting, but one can speculate that veterans like Chris Johnson and Jermaine Gresham – both on one-year deals – are candidates. Defensive backs Justin Bethel, Rashad Johnson, and Jerraud Powers are also potentially heading toward the open market.
- Asked in a mailbag about the possibility of the Broncos and Bears working out a trade, perhaps for a player like running back Matt Forte, Mike Klis of 9News says he can’t see John Fox and Adam Gase wanting to do a deal that would help the Broncos win a Super Bowl. Fox and Gase, of course, are in their first year with the Bears, having left Denver last offseason.
- According to NFL executive Eric Grubman, the league as a whole is negotiating with the St. Louis task force about its stadium plan for the Rams, as Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details. Grubman on the NFL’s response to the task force’s term sheet: “We have some questions about the term sheet which we hope to get answered over the course of the next couple of days or week, and I think probably next week and the weeks after, we’ll be in discussions with the task force.”
Zach Links contributed to this post.