Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie granted a quick interview with Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times after Stanford's pro day. You can see a transcript of the interview here.
He addressed a number of different issues in the interview. I encourage you to check it out, it's an interesting read. But we will sum up the conversation as well.
First, McKenzie confirmed that second year player Stefen Wisniewski will indeed be moving to Center. The only reason that wouldn't occur is if they find themselves in a position where they can get another Center that is so good they can't pass him up. That could happen in the draft or if there is an unexpected cut at a later date.
McKenzie also said that newly signed G Mike Brisiel will play RG, the position he manned in Houston. Cooper Carlisle, the Raiders right guard since 2007 was cut and then resigned a short time later. The plan is that he will move to LG at this time with Wiz sliding to Center.
McKenzie also discussed two players that many fans wanted the team to retain, Kamerion Wimbley and Michael Bush. He said that, with both of them, it had come down the the Raiders being unable to afford what the players were owed or looking for. He said he regretted that they weren't able to keep the players but still felt good about the offseason thus far because the Raiders had been able to shore up their O line and the CB position.
McKenzie also said that the reports that the Raiders have $4 Million in cap space is wrong, that they don't have nearly that much. He said that if he hadn't cut Wimbley he wouldn't have been able to sign the players he did, which is partially why it had to happen.
In the interview, McKenzie said he'll be looking at cuts and indicated that's likely where they will get the backup running back to replace Michael Bush.
When asked what the biggest position of need is, he correctly identified OLB. He said that was the only position where he really didn't have anyone to put onto the field. He didn't address if there was any particular player he had in mind for the position indicating it could be free agency or the draft.
McKenzie expressed optimism that they would get some good Compensatory picks and said he's not familiar with the formula that determines the selections.
The Compensatory picks are announced during or right after the owner's meeting, usually. The owner's meeting starts next week, on Monday and ends on Wednesday, so expect the picks to be announced mid next week.
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