Former Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie reportedly has a new job.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, McKenzie is joining the Miami Dolphins’ front office as a senior personnel executive.
Former raiders GM Reggie McKenzie will be joining the Dolphins as a senior personnel executive.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) February 16, 2019
McKenzie is well-respected as an evaluator in NFL circles, and he built the 2016 Oakland Raiders team that went 12-4, earning him an Executive of the Year nod. However, despite his claims otherwise, it appeared to many that he clashed with new coach Jon Gruden, who was given significant organizational power upon his arrival. That dynamic ended with McKenzie’s firing in December, and he will now join up with a rebuilding Miami team.
The inevitable front office shakeup of the Oakland Raiders has begun.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has informed the team’s scouting staff that he has been fired, effective immediately. McKenzie reportedly turned down the opportunity to remain in the job until the end of the season.
#Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie had a meeting with his scouts today where he informed them he was fired, per me and @TomPelissero. He was given the chance to stay the season, but is not expected to do so.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 10, 2018
Widespread media reports on Sunday indicated that McKenzie would leave at the end of the season, but he and the organization haven’t bothered to wait it out.
Someone had to take the fall for a truly awful season in Oakland. More realistically, however, is the fact that despite McKenzie’s denials, coach Jon Gruden is running the show organizationally and was already putting together his own staff of scouts. McKenzie can now go find a job elsewhere where he won’t be essentially subordinate to his head coach. It makes sense for all parties to move on.
A popular narrative developing around the Oakland Raiders is that general manager Reggie McKenzie is being marginalized by head coach Jon Gruden, who has most of the organizational power.
McKenzie battled back against that chatter on Monday when announcing the Amari Cooper trade, denying that Gruden is trying to force him out of his role with the organization.
McKenzie said Gruden’s “not pushing me out. That’s not happening.”
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) October 22, 2018
McKenzie has been Oakland’s general manager since 2012. Gruden’s arrival before this season has come with a distinct shift in organizational philosophy, with the team trading Khalil Mack and now Cooper to accumulate draft picks and free up cap space. Gruden himself denied talk of a Cooper trade, and it came to fruition, so either he was deflecting or completely out of the loop. The former is much more likely, but either way, the situation is emblematic of the odd and confusing dynamic that has developed around the organization since Gruden’s arrival.
The Oakland Raiders are expected to make changes to their front office at some point over the next year, according to a report.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that the widely held belief around the league is that the Raiders will shake things up at some point in 2019.
“It’s clear already the Raiders will be doing more extreme personnel shuffling in the years to come,” La Canfora reported.
Reggie McKenzie is the team’s GM and has been in that role since 2012. His efforts in the 2014 draft helped revive the franchise with new talent such as future Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack and quarterback Derek Carr. But one of Jon Gruden’s first moves after becoming the team’s head coach was to play hardball with Mack, who eventually was traded to the Chicago Bears. Gruden is also believed to have been behind the team’s horrendous decision to give up a third-round pick for Martavis Bryant, who is facing a year-long suspension.
Gruden appears to be making most of the roster decisions about the team and would likely want a GM with whom he feels comfortable working. His hiring likely marked the end of McKenzie’s future with the team.
Fans may have found it a bit awkward that Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie passed on drafting his own son, but Charles Woodson is downright horrified by where the former Tennessee star ended up.
Kahlil McKenzie, who was a defensive tackle with the Vols but impressed teams by running offensive line drills at his Pro Day, was drafted in the sixth round by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs, of course, are one of Oakland’s most fierce rivals, and Woodson joked with Reggie McKenzie that Kahlil should retire before he plays for KC.
“I got a text from Charles Woodson who told me ‘your son has to retire. There’s no way he can put that red helmet on his head,'” McKenzie shared with reports, via Black and Silver Pride. “Part of me felt that way, but in all seriousness it’s a good opportunity for him and I was hoping that he would land at a spot that will kind of grow him to that position. He can play D-tackle, but I think he could be special on the offensive line. That’s where we were going to play him.”
Kahlil joked that he wonders if his old man conspired with the Chiefs, as Reggie has apparently always wanted Kahlil to play offensive line. Kahlil is also anxious to get a shot at his dad’s team.
“I can’t wait to whip up on you twice this year and the next year and the next year and the next year after that,” he said. “We’re a competitive family [by] nature. We compete in everything we do. This just adds one more ripple into that. We’re all excited for it. I’m excited to get to Kansas City and just help the Chiefs … whoop up on the Raiders [and] whoop up on the rest of the NFL.”
The Raiders and Chiefs don’t have their first meeting until Week 13 next season. Needless to say, the McKenzie family probably has the date circled on the calendar.
Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie cited Marquette King’s contract as a reason for the punter’s release.
The Raiders surprisingly released King on March 30. McKenzie was asked about the move Friday and mentioned King’s salary as one of the reasons.
Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie declines to go into great detail on Marquette King release. But “his contract was pretty steep.” Team expected to go younger, cheaper route. Likely a pick there on April 28 (Rounds 4-7).
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 20, 2018
The Raiders saved nearly $3 million by cutting King, but they’re also losing an All-Pro punter. They’re obviously figuring they can find a cheaper replacement in the draft.
Another factor for King’s release reportedly was new head coach Jon Gruden not being a big fan of the punter.