ALAMEDA, Calif. — A phone call Raleigh McKenzie expected but nonetheless hoped to avoid came Sunday.
The Raiders are moving in a new direction.
McKenzie, whose twin brother Reggie was dismissed as Raiders general manager in December, worked for seven-plus years as a college scout in the organization. He remained a club employee through the draft, fulfilling his contractual duties. General manager Mike Mayock informed Raleigh McKenzie he won’t be retained.
McKenzie’s contract was among those in the scouting department set to expire.
His departure was considered a fairly forgone conclusion, given his obvious ties to Mayock’s predecessor and that it’s common practice for a new GM to augment his staff with scouts from his own trusted circle. Mayock is expected to part with some, but not all, scouts he inherited.
“I’ve already come to grips with it,” McKenzie, 56, said in a phone interview. “It’s not like I was blindsided. I always looked at it (and felt) there is a strong possibility. I’m just glad I was able to hang on as long as I did after my brother. I thought it was going to be a package deal. So, I was able to finish what I started with the college scouting.”
McKenzie served as an area scout, assigned to the Northeast region between North Carolina and Maine.
This year, he attended various scouting events as usual, such as pro days and the Senior Bowl. Only he drew double takes in his Raiders attire; he and Reggie can appear identical to those not familiar with them. He exhibited professionalism until being relieved.
Some scouts remained here for the Raiders’ draft.
McKenzie was among those who weren’t at headquarters for it. On Sunday, one day after the draft concluded, Mayock thanked him for his services and wished him well.
“You don’t want to see it come to an end, but you’ve got to be a pro about it,” said McKenzie, who expressed gratitude to Raiders owner Mark Davis for the opportunity given to him and his brother. “There’s no hard feelings.”
In February, Reggie McKenzie joined the Miami Dolphins as a senior personnel executive.
— The Raiders cleared five roster spots Tuesday to create room for their draft class and several undrafted rookie signings. Running back James Butler, linebacker Cayson Collins, wide receiver Rashard Davis, guard/center Cameron Hunt and wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El were waived.
— Rookies are scheduled to arrive in Oakland on Thursday for Friday’s start to rookie minicamp.