With OTAs and mandatory minicamp wrapped up, General Manager Dave Ziegler heads back to the East Coast to enjoy a little vacation time before Training Camp begins in July.
However, like most NFL GMs, he'll still have football and his roster on the brain, as there's always some "tinkering" to do in the offseason.
Ziegler hasn't had a lot of – if any – vacation time since arriving to Las Vegas in January. This offseason has been an active one for the Silver and Black – signing Chandler Jones, trading for Davante Adams and Rock Ya-Sin, and drafting six new players just to name a few things that have taken place.
"It's been a learning process. It's been a good process," Ziegler said on Upon Further Review with Eddie Paskal. "I think when you look at the roster, what we've tried to do – and we talked about this from the beginning – is try to build competition throughout the roster. And I think we've done that. When you look at the roster, there's a lot of guys competing for spots, and that was the idea. We wanted to build a competitive roster where everyone felt they were being pushed to earn a spot and and be their best. And I think we've done that through free agency, through the draft and through college free agency."
The latest notable move Ziegler and the Raiders made is a contract extension for receiver Hunter Renfrow, who is coming off a career season. Renfrow led the team in receiving yards (1,038), catches (103) and touchdown catches (nine) in 2021. The slot receiver, who expressed gratitude to stay with the Raiders, has already gotten to know Ziegler and the new coaching staff well.
"Part of the process of understanding him being a long term fit was understanding the person," Ziegler said. "And Hunter is a low maintenance player who's an incredibly hard worker, very smart, diligent about his craft ... Very good route runner, good short area quickness, has the ability to get open in tight spaces and in the past has been very productive on third down. He's worked really hard to learn our system and understand our route concepts and learn the intricacies of what he needs to do in this offensive system.
"Highly productive young player that we're excited to work with in the future and continue to see that progress be made."
Ziegler and Head Coach Josh McDaniels have both placed an emphasis on players getting ready for the season even while they're out of the building. While this downtime is much needed break before the grind of a full NFL season, it's been stressed throughout the locker room to keep up with the developments they made during the offseason program.
"The message is to make continued progress," said Ziegler. "Don't take a step back. What we're not looking for is guys to return and they've digressed in their strength training or in their diet and nutrition or their conditioning. These are building blocks and the expectations is for those guys to come into camp ready to roll and made progress throughout this time off. And that's what we're going to be looking for. That tells a lot about their commitment to this team, their commitment to getting better, their commitment to winning – you can tell that by how people come into Training Camp and how ready they are to go.
"Hopefully, everybody comes back [and] has that mindset, and comes back better than they were when they left."
View director of photography Michael Clemens' best black and white photos from the Raiders 2022 Media Day.