As is the case in any major sport, the NFL's ecosystem is constantly evolving.
Whether you point to the influx of bigger cornerbacks or look at the way teams "value" the running back position, figuring out a way to address these sweeping changes will determine which teams thrive and which teams falter.
How the Raiders will address running back Darren McFadden falls into this category. He was a No. 4 overall pick in 2008, but for all of the flashes of brilliance McFadden at times has displayed since entering the league, his career has undergone some tough sledding due to injuries.
Talking about McFadden's future with the team, McKenzie told ESPN.com's Paul Gutierrez:
Darren's going to be a free agent and there's been communication with his agent. He's going to see what his market is. And that's the thing, when you're talking about the games that he's missed, he has no idea—and when I say ‘He,' I'm talking about his agent—he has no idea what his market value will be and I couldn't tell you what the other 31 teams think.
As tweeted by Gil Brandt of NFL.com, the Raiders met with McFadden's agent to talk shop. But the best course of action for this team is to part ways with the veteran tailback.
In a fantastic article, IndyStar.com's Stephen Holder detailed how the running back position in the NFL has changed in recent years. The classic "workhorse" halfback is now a rarity, and because of how the league has shifted to a pass-first approach, running backs have become devalued.
McKenzie is going to have process all of this information and figure out a course of action to shore up what is a position of need. Does he attack the problem through the draft? Or does he scan the free-agent market and bring in a veteran halfback to help shoulder the load?
Looking at the options in free agency, MMQB.com's Greg A. Bedard noted that, "Running backs are never going to get big money in free agency."
With quality running backs like Knowshon Moreno and Ben Tate set to test the choppy waters of free agency, McKenzie could plug a relatively low-cost option into his backfield.