The Raiders competitive window is wide open, and the franchise is trying to keep it that way. Owner Mark Davis hopes to establish stability in his football product, something sorely missing during more than a decade of struggle.
He extended general manager Reggie McKenzie’s contract last summer, a year before it expired.
McKenzie said this offseason that extending franchise quarterback Derek Carr is a high priority. That deal could happen this offseason, with a year left on his rookie contract. The Raiders are also prepared to extend Khalil Mack when the time comes and work around some big cap numbers to keep central players in silver and black.
The same could go for Jack Del Rio. No NFL head coach currently makes less.
He has two years left on his original four-year contract. Del Rio helped return the Raiders to prominence during the first half of that deal, with 19 total wins and the team’s first playoff appearance since 2002.
Might that be worth a raise?
Del Rio is popular among the players and in the front office, and it’s anticipated a deal will get done to keep this head coach in place beyond his current contract. That is anticipated soon, or farther into the future.
There is recent precedent for extending a trusted head coach before entering a contract year. The Minnesota Vikings gave Mike Zimmer an extension last summer, after just two years into his first deal with the club.
It helps that prospect that Davis is also a fan, and has supported his head coach with a new performance center, improved practice fields and upgrades to the primary facility itself.
He has a good working relationship with McKenzie, now under contract through the 2021 season.
Del Rio has done well keeping Las Vegas relocation talk away from his players, and his steady hand and his presence as a homegrown product might ease transitions if the Raiders are approved to move.
The Raiders have quality at several levels of the organization, and keeping their core together could help keep the Raiders in position to contend.