Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is not messing around in his attempts to change the culture of the Raiders. McKenzie joined a franchise that was mired in a financial mess due to an array of poor contract decisions. Eventually the team was going to have to pay the piper for some of these decisions and McKenzie is bringing the piper with him.
The Raiders continued their salary purge as they released defensive tackle John Henderson with a failed physical designation and right guard Cooper Carlisle. Henderson is not a surprising move given his salary and injury issues. He played well when healthy, but given his health it was not worth the price. It was simply a matter of either reworking his contract or releasing him.
The Cooper Carlisle release comes as a little bit of a surprise. The 34-year old guard is older and is seeing his skills decline to a certain extent, but he is not quite as overpaid as Henderson. It gets interesting because he excels in the zone blocking scheme that is favored by new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. There is a chance he is brought back at a lower salary, but the Raiders do not seem in a hurry to make it happen.
For now, the Raiders are simply getting their financial house in order. They can still be players in free agency, but they are looking to clear significant space to prevent a repeat of what led to this current purge.