Reggie McKenzie, Raiders Agree to New Contract: Latest Details, Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2016

Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie stands on the field before a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders and general manager Reggie McKenzie reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension announced Friday night. 

Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area confirmed the news, which keeps McKenzie with the organization through the 2021 NFL draft, and he passed along comments from team owner Mark Davis: "It was time to get something done. Reggie earned it."

McKenzie took over the Raiders roster in 2012 and started a painful retooling process that finally started showing signs of progress last season. Oakland went 7-9 during the 2015 campaign after going a combined 11-37 over his first three years in charge.

Those down years allowed the franchise to pick higher in the draft, though. It's led the Raiders to add key foundation pieces like Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Mario Edwards in recent years as the focus started shifting away from preferred speed and athleticism of the Al Davis era.

McKenzie stated leading up to this year's draft that a strong relationship with head coach Jack Del Rio has made the building process easier, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com.

"We've got a good feel for each other," he said. "We like a whole lot of the same things. Makes it a whole lot easier."

Now the focus shifts toward ending the franchise's extended playoff drought. It currently sits at 13 years, tied for the second-longest streak in the league behind the Buffalo Bills (16 years).

The good news for the Raiders is that the AFC West is up for grabs this season given the quarterback questions surrounding the reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. It leaves the door open for Oakland's first division title since 2002. 

If that's going to happen, the players McKenzie has put his faith in over the past handful of drafts, led by Mack and Carr, must come up big.

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