Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on March 26, 2012
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie spoke to local media over a conference call following the league’s release of compensatory picks for the Raiders for the upcoming NFL Draft.
The NFL announced on Monday that the Raiders would receive compensatory picks in the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds of April’s draft. The Raiders previously only held draft picks in the 5th and 6th round. Oakland’s first pick will now be the 95th overall selection, barring any trades.
McKenzie expressed his approval of his newly-received draft picks and the overall process during his conference call.
Whatever the formula is, I love this formula. I love it,” McKenzie said over the phone. “I thought I would possibly get a three for Nnamdi (Asomugha), and for the others, this was better than I expected. I’m extremely excited about the compensatory picks that the league has afforded the Raiders. Hopefully we can make do and have some good picks.”
The Raiders have been strapped for cash this offseason causing McKenzie to make some tough decisions that has involved the releasing of numerous starting players such as Stanford Routt and Kamerion Wimbley.
McKenzie originally mentioned “out-of-whack” contracts when he was introduced as the new Raiders general manager and has done his best to fix that problem with contract restructures and cutting of players whose contracts don’t match their productivity.
“When you talk about production versus a salary, in this business, the contract and the production go hand in hand,” McKenzie said. “If they are not matching or are kind of out of whack, you’re going to be forced to make a decision and that’s kind of what I was coming to.”
While he has had to work hard this offseason to get some extra cash, McKenzie looks at the process as a learning experience that will better his knowledge for the future.
“It’s not frustrating, it really isn’t. You always like to have a comfort level. Having cash under the cap, it gives you comfort. It’s teaching me how to handle money. This is good for me, learning on the fly how to deal with certain adverse situations. We’ve been able to handle it so far.”
The added draft picks gives McKenzie an additional chance to land some solid football players.
Previous 95th-overall draft picks include San Francisco 49er’s wide receiver Mario Manningham, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham and Raiders linebacker Darryl Blackstock who was on the roster last season but is currently an unrestricted free agent.