How can Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie build on a playoff roster? Which position should he pay close attention to during the offseason?
Even successful general managers have blind spots in their attempt to build championship rosters. Overall, Oakland Raiders executive Reggie McKenzie has done a great job, but he’s missed several opportunities to address the middle linebacker position.
McKenzie deserves all the credit for dumping bad contracts and composing team-friendly deals. According to Spotrac, the Raiders owe the least amount of dead money in the league. Oakland no longer pays underperforming players to leave town. The Raiders executive doesn’t spread out guaranteed cash over the majority length of a contract. Instead, he often front-loads the deal, which gives the team an out after a year or two.
If there’s one area in which the Panthers have depth, it’s at the wide receiver position. Even though Cam Newton didn’t have a strong year passing, there isn’t a lack of talent available once he has the opportunity to throw the ball. David Newton of ESPN presented a scenario in which Cruz would add veteran leadership and experience as a slot receiver to the Panthers core. NFL Spin Zone’s Justin Coccia surmised the same. This is a valid suggestion, but one must wonder if it is worth the hefty price tag that Cruz is going to demand.
Cruz was released earlier this month after seven years with the New York Giants. He was a major part of that team’s strong play in recent years, but he hasn’t been the same type of player since a knee injury in 2014 hampered his performance. Since that year his production has dropped off.
From 2011-13, Cruz earned nearly 1,000 yards each season. In 2014 he played in only six games and missed all of 2015.