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  1. #1
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    Brandt Talks Reggie ....

    http://mmqb.si.com/2014/03/12/oaklan...s-free-agency/

    Oakland Will Spend Money, Just Not All at Once

    It's the last thing Raiders fans want to hear, but you must be patient

    By Andrew Brandt

    These are salad days for NFL owners. Forbes values 23 of the 32 franchises at over $1 billion, record-level television contracts are kicking in, and there are seven years remaining on a favorable CBA. With young players being squeezed (drafted players must sign four-year contracts at fixed rates) and older veterans being purged (just look at this week’s waiver wire), those now carrying the banner for improved plater economics are the “sweet spot” free agents emerging from rookie contracts who are between the optimal ages of 25 to 27. Two days into free agency, the team to watch is the Raiders, who are flush with salary cap room like no other in 2014.

    Under the leadership of the late Al Davis, the Raiders were reluctant to pay market price for coaches, executives and front office staff. But they were always willing to pay—and overpay—players. In the agent community, the best call one could receive was from Davis. He loved players: picking them, counseling them and paying them.

    In Davis’ later years, many of those contracts had consequences when the players didn’t perform well. When new general manager Reggie McKenzie entered the picture two years ago, he turned the page on dozens of contracts with years remaining, leaving about $56 million in “dead money” in their wake. While other teams operated on a $123 million cap in 2013, the Raiders were left to compete with 60% of that number, roughly $75 million in negotiable dollars for their active players.

    That was then; this is now.

    Having atoned for previous contractual sins, the Raiders are now playing at an advantage compared to the rest of the league. They entered the 2014 league calendar with close to $60 million in cap room. And with their minimal spending last year and team minimum spending accounting ahead for 2013-2016, all eyes are on the Raiders’ checkbook.

    In its new financial era, Oakland allowed Jared Veldheer, Lamarr Houston and Rashad Jennings to leave while acquiring tackles Rodger Saffold ($42.5 million, $21 million guaranteed) and Austin Howard ($30 million, $15 million guaranteed). Hopefully, with their ample cap room, the Raiders structured the deals with disproportionate cap containment this year, allowing them to exit the contracts later, if need be, with little pain.

    Raider Nation, judging from Twitter and media reaction, was not impressed. After a two year grace period, fans are restless. In their minds, it’s time for a referendum on McKenzie. While I am not qualified to evaluate Saffold and Howard compared to Veldheer or anyone else, I can comment on the man who made those decisions.

    I worked closely with McKenzie for nine years in the Packers’ front office. When negotiating contracts, I would often rely on him for unfiltered views on players that both the agent and I were using as comparables. He had vast knowledge of players from every team and made it very clear whom he liked and whom he didn’t.

    Reggie had his terms of endearment for players. He valued brute strength in linemen, both offensive and defensive, and would slow the film down to watch plays that showed one lineman physically overmatching another. In his Tennessee drawl he’d say, “Look at this big joker…BAM!” When Reggie referred to a player as “country strong,” I knew that was a high compliment. He felt that way about several of the offensive linemen we had in Green Bay, especially Chad Clifton, and I’m certain he feels that way about Saffold and Howard.

    And the slow teardown that the Raiders just endured fits Reggie well. If Reggie is anything, he is deliberate. He walks slowly, he talks slowly, he eats slowly and he will build slowly. Saffold and Howard are the first expenditures of the $60 million in cap room, and there will be more, with reports of veterans Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley set to visit. Cap room doesn’t have to be exhausted in March; it can be spent through December.

    Reggie mirrors some elements of the two general managers we had in Green Bay. He has the courage of his convictions about players that Ron Wolf had, including blunt assessments of their talent. But Reggie also has the patience of Ted Thompson; he adheres to the draft-and-develop model of team-building. The latter means trusting scouts to constantly fill a pipeline of young talent, empowering coaches to play and develop young players, and identifying core players to secure contractually for the future.

    I know the last thing Raider Nation wants to hear is a plea for more patience, but a new era of cap prosperity has just begun. I admit to bias, but Reggie is consumed with finding the right players for his team, no matter how long it takes or where he finds them. Saffold and Howard, however uninspiring, are just the start of the book on 2014. Let’s see how the chapters play out.


    Those of you looking for a fast turnaround ... are not being realistic. Slow and methodical is Reggie's way.
    Last edited by LesterHayes; 03-12-2014 at 06:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hopefully that means Donald is our guy

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  3. #3
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    Nice read Liked the article but I will not be happy until we start winning. And I will always think RM has made many bad moves the last 2 years that will not change but sometimes people learn from mistakes and It makes them that much better. For instance Pete Carrol was not good his first time coaching in the NFL now he is one of the best. So people can change learn and get better. That is what I hope happens here. I have bashed him bad but there is still much hope with the draft and the rest of the cap $ we have to get some good talent on this team.

    And you are what your record says you are.
    Sure liked the two years before DA and RM 1 game away from playoffs.
    And some say we are better off today.

  4. #4
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    I knew this when we hired RM , is he a genius....it's football so no, but I do respect the opinion of others who have had success with this organization and the Packers. I believe we will have a mix of veteran and draft talent for long term success and not the fly by the seat of your pants win now success of playoffs one year and 6-10 the next.

  5. #5
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    Maybe he feels that Auburn LT Greg Robinson is 'Country Strong' !!!

  6. #6
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    I may be in the minority but I see the big picture here.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHIL MAGROIN View Post
    Maybe he feels that Auburn LT Greg Robinson is 'Country Strong' !!!
    Now that Veldheer is gone I would be completely okay with Robinson. Easily my favorite tackle to come out since Joe Thomas. The guy would be perfect for this line. Big, mean, physical mauler.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxfly View Post
    I knew this when we hired RM , is he a genius....it's football so no, but I do respect the opinion of others who have had success with this organization and the Packers. I believe we will have a mix of veteran and draft talent for long term success and not the fly by the seat of your pants win now success of playoffs one year and 6-10 the next.
    Plain and Simple.
    Although we are hungry for the best today, we banter and even scowl at anything else we do just have to be patient...steady as she goes is the only real recipe for long term success.
    Last edited by BuellstRaider; 03-12-2014 at 08:03 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raidaz4Life View Post
    Now that Veldheer is gone I would be completely okay with Robinson. Easily my favorite tackle to come out since Joe Thomas. The guy would be perfect for this line. Big, mean, physical mauler.
    I am in total agreement with you dude and that would compliment a pretty big and physical line all together.Maybe that's still the plan to play good defense and pound McFragile,but give Sporano the proper tools to work with.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHIL MAGROIN View Post
    Maybe he feels that Auburn LT Greg Robinson is 'Country Strong' !!!
    He's gonna be a stud LT. Hope he is the pick. Please no Manziel and Carr with the 5th pick.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREATNESS ONE View Post
    I may be in the minority but I see the big picture here.
    Was this before or after the "failed" physical???

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Cog Neato View Post
    Was this before or after the "failed" physical???
    Haaaaaa. Exactly. I clearly do not see the big picture. Could you explain it to me please? Like why we signed the broken guy over the healthy guy for more money. Or why 2 of the 3 Giants coming to town have an injury history too? Does Reggie's big picture look anything like a superb medical staff? I would prefer to pay healthy players that stay on the field thank you. I don't care how country strong you are when you are lifting cups of Gatorade on the sideline in street clothes. Also, I don't know why everyone is so cool with drafting an LT all of a sudden. First of all, we have tons of holes to fill and that was a position that was readily available to fill in free agency. We could have pursued others or kept our own...who was HULK strong....which is good enough for me. Secondly, the best LT in the draft may not even be there at 5, so then what? This was botched. He better fix it.


    THE AUTUMN WIND IS A RAIDER
    PILLAGING JUST FOR FUN
    HE'LL KNOCK YOU 'ROUND AND UPSIDE DOWN
    AND LAUGH WHEN HE'S CONQUERED AND WON

  13. #13
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    I do see the picture he's trying to paint, but he's using the wrong colors. Look at what Denver's doing right now. They're signing all these guys, going for it all right now. I don't blame them. Peyton can only play for so much longer. They have the players around them to be able to do this, and right now we don't. However, they are kicking the can down the road right now. Sooner or later, they're gonna kick it one too many times, and find a rock in it, and break their toes. They'll eventually pay the piper, iow. Same with the Saints. They signed Byrd, and still haven't re-signed their franchise tagged TE yet. Dallas is just about to implode, too.

    Reggie is trying to fox contracts so that the $$$ is spread evenly out. Look at Houston's contract, our new RT. It has zero dead $$$ after year one. He frontloaded his and Saffold's vetoed contract, giving them more $$$ whle he had it, so that in the floowing years, we wouldn't have a lot of $$$ allocated to them. By doing this, it keeps our books nice, clean, and tidy. I am still supporting Reggie, though that support is waning. I think he's a better bookkeeper than GM, though...

  14. #14
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    A few years later, guys like Talib, Ware, Ward, et al, when their talents erode, they'll have to come off the books with a bunch of dead money allocated to their being cut. That's what killed us. That's what is killing the Cowboys. They had to cut Ware because of the salary cap woes. Reggie wants to avoid dead money when he has to cut someone. He has the right model in place, but I am beginning to wonder if someone else need to take over from here...

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