With no space available in their sticky cap situation and no first- and second-round draft selections at their expanse, the 2012 offseason has hit them like a ton of bricks.
With a few necessary tweaks to replace the sputtering tail end of their 2011 season, the Raiders may have very well been sitting in the driver’s seat in 2012.
Unfortunately, they were forced to release some solid production that helped contribute to their 2012 success. To add insult to injury, the flashy talent pool was running on empty when it came to their first selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.
To put it softly, their 2012 offseason has been a nightmare. The new general manager, Reggie McKenzie, was handcuffed from the beginning. The reality of Al Davis’ draft day deals finally caught up to them.
Disappointing would be a good word to summarize their offseason. In a division that saw the likes of Peyton Manning, Peyton Hillis and Robert Meachem join the conversation, the Raiders undeniably jumped back a few steps.
With another year under their belts and no playoff berth, it was time to address the cancers within. This offseason, the Raiders diverted their focus away from their on-the-field talent and harnessed their attention on their coaching personnel. The Silver and Black thoroughly cleaned up the house.
After giving the boot to former head coach Hue Jackson, they feel they have struck gold on Dennis Allen. However, I am sure every previous hire felt the same.
From there, they nabbed Jason Tarver, Keith Burns, Ted Gilmore, Mark Hutson, Terrell Williams, Frank Pollack, Johnnie Lynn, Johnny Holland and Steve Hoffman to assume their newly designated roles to help guide the Raiders back to playoff contention.
To subside their losses, the depleted roster brought in veteran experience with defensive end David Tollefson, guard Mike Brisiel, and cornerbacks Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer.
Hardly a fair deal when you take into account what they lost.
In the long-term perspective, the Raiders made the most of their opportunities. However, in a division fraught with headlining talent, the Raiders are sitting in the spectator’s position looking toward the safety and structure of their future.
2012 is shaping out to be a three-headed monster with Denver, San Diego and Kansas City.
Apart from all the scenarios of who can stay healthy or who will have a breakout season, the fact of the matter is that the Raiders had one of the more pathetic offseasons in the league.
What they can do with what they have available will remain to be seen. But I don't like their chances. Prove me wrong.
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