NFL: Raiders fire GM Reggie McKenzie; Jon Gruden distances himself from move
The Oakland Raiders have fired general manager Reggie McKenzie less than two years after he was named the NFL’s executive of the year.
A person familiar with the move said McKenzie was let go Monday from the position he had held for almost seven seasons. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made an announcement. The NFL Network first reported the firing.
McKenzie’s status has been in doubt since coach Jon Gruden was given a 10-year contract last January to take charge of the football operation for the Raiders. McKenzie’s influence has waned since then, with the Raiders cutting ties with several of the players he had acquired, most notably edge rusher Khalil Mack and receiver Amari Cooper.
Gruden seemed to distance himself from the decision, saying, “I really didn’t have a sense of it. I’ve been ... trying to get ready for the next game. This is all somewhat surprising.”
Asked if owner Mark Davis spearheaded the decision, Gruden replied, “We all work for the same man.”
“I can’t exactly answer why the change was made last night, but changes were made and we’ve got to continue to fight,” Gruden said.
McKenzie was the first major hire made by Davis after he took over the team following the death of his father, Al, in 2011. McKenzie modernized the franchise, got the team out of salary cap purgatory and built a roster that won 12 games in 2016, earning him honors as the league’s top executive.
Chiefs owner shocked by Hunt video
Chiefs Chairman Clark Hunt said he was shocked by security camera video showing Kareem Hunt shoving and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel, and that it was a collective decision by the organization to cut their star running back within hours.
In his first comments since the incident nine days ago, the team’s owner also said the Chiefs were aware of two other offseason incidents involving Hunt, but not the extent of them.
“We’d had some issues with Kareem not being truthful with what happened that night [in Cleveland] and we really felt in everybody’s interest we head in another direction,” Clark Hunt explained after Kansas City clinched a playoff berth with a 27-24 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
The other two incidents occurred in January at a downtown Kansas City nightclub and in June at an Ohio resort. No criminal charges were filed in any of the cases, and Clark Hunt said all of them were referred to the NFL for investigation. The league did not hand down any punishment until TMZ Sports posted the security video from the Cleveland hotel, at which point Hunt was put on the NFL’s exempt list.
The Chiefs then announced within minutes they were releasing the NFL’s reigning rushing champion.
Redskins QB No. 4
Josh Johnson will be Washington’s fourth starting quarterback this season Sunday at Jacksonville, his first start since 2011.
Johnson hadn’t thrown a pass in a game in seven years until last weekend when he replaced Mark Sanchez and went 11 for 16 for 195 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a 40-16 loss to the New York Giants. He also ran seven times for 45 yards and a score.
Tight end Jordan Reed, who leads the Redskins in catches and receiving yards, is out indefinitely with a strained toe muscle.
Dallas denies report
Dallas owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett shot down an ESPN report that the team reached out to former tight end Jason Witten and tried to lure him out of the “Monday Night Football” broadcast booth.
“We haven’t at all,” Jones said after Sunday’s win, and Garrett, on his Monday radio show, emphatically said “No” when asked if he reached out to Witten.
Tennessee tight end Jonnu Smith and tackle Jack Conklin have knee injuries and won’t play Sunday against the Giants. ... Out for the year: Arizona defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (knee) and Buffalo linebacker Matt Milano (broken leg).
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