It’s hard to believe how much one week in the NFL can change your perception of things. Just last Tuesday I wrote an article that called into question Reggie McKenzie and the job he is doing as the head of the Oakland Raiders front office. Six days later and he seems to have changed my perception of both him and the organization.
Maybe I jumped the gun a tad on calling McKenzie out, but the initial deal to sign Rodger Saffold to a ridiculous contract coupled with the offensive lineman “failing” his physical really did leave a lot of questions out there as it relates to what the Raiders were doing.
After McKenzie and Co. added former Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones on a team-friendly three-year, $11.3 million contract, the Raiders continue to hit gold in the veteran free agent market.
Raiders gave former Packers WR James Jones a three-year, $11.3M deal.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2014
The former third-round pick from San Jose State will be returning home to Northern California after tallying 59 receptions for over 800 yards and three touchdowns for the Packers last season.
He also caught a NFL high 14 touchdown passes back in 2012. While those latter numbers were inflated a bit due to the presence of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, Jones has proven himself to be a consistent pass catcher after struggling with drops earlier in his career.
He now joins Denarius Moore and Rod Streater to form a decent trio at wide receiver for whoever is throwing the ball in Oakland. Moore and Streater combined for 103 receptions, nearly 1,600 yards and nine scores last season.
This signing fits the mold of what McKenzie has done thus far this offseason. He’s adding veteran talent as stopgap measures for a couple seasons while attempting to build through the draft. None of the deals outside of the five-year, $30 million contract that tackle Austin Howard signed last week have long-term salary cap ramifications.
The idea here is to utilize the salary cap room that Oakland currently possesses with solid veteran talent while not handcuffing its salary cap flexibility moving forward. In doing so, McKenzie has done a solid job overcoming what was a disastrous start to the new league year for the Raiders.
Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki, USA Today