The Las Vegas Raiders are cleaning house by firing general manager Mike Mayock after three wild and controversial seasons that included numerous scandals, a fatal car crash involving a player, the mid-season dismissal of head coach Jon Gruden, and the relocation of the Raiders from Oakland to Sin City.
Mayock and Gruden, who shared duties in the NFL Draft, botched the last couple of drafts. Mayock also brought in the talented, yet mercurial Antonio Brown, which was another short-sighted disaster.
“We have relieved Mike Mayock of his duties as General Manager of the Las Vegas Raiders,” said the Raiders in an official statement. “We thank Mike for his contributions over the last three years in helping to form the foundation for the franchise to build upon in its future.”
The Cincinnati Bengals eliminated the Raiders on Saturday by a score of 26-19. The Bengals advanced to the Divisional round despite a valiant attempt at a comeback in the fourth quarter from the never-say-die Raiders.
The Raiders finished in second place in the AFC West and finished ahead of Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers. The Raiders backdoored a spot in the playoffs in the final game of the season during a thrilling overtime victory against the Chargers. They had the benefit of the Indianapolis Colts imploding by losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 18, which opened the back door to a wild-card berth.
Who wants to coach the Raiders?
The Raiders went 10-7 last season and secured an AFC wild-card berth under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia after Gruden quit midseason due to a simmering email scandal in which he used salty and non-PC language while he worked for the Washington Football Team.
Team owner Mark Davis interviewed Bisaccia for the full-time head coaching vacancy. Bisaccia had the support of many of the players. Quarterback Derek Carr preferred Bisaccia’s coaching philosophy over Gruden’s eclectic style. However, Bisaccia has a slim chance to secure the full-time gig, much to the dismay of the locker room.
In most instances, the new general manager would like to be involved in the search for a new head coach, but the Raiders are an unconventional team and could hire a new head coach before a new general manager.
The Raiders asked the Patriots for permission to interview linebackers coach Jerod Mayo. Several former head coaches are also expected to sit down with the Raiders, including Jim Caldwell, Matt Nagy, Adam Gase, Mike Zimmer, and Dan Quinn.
Jim Harbaugh was briefly mentioned as a possible hire. Harbaugh told his players at Michigan that he would listen to any NFL head coaching offers. He’s also on the shortlist to replace Nagy with the Chicago Bears.
Davis: fixated on Foxboro
After Davis fired Mayock, the Raiders want to raid the New England Patriots front office for a new general manager. Davis also wants to pick through Belichick’s coaching staff to find a new head coach. Davis is unaware — or just doesn’t care — that the most recent hirings from Belichick’s staff ended up being disastrous.
Joe Judge, the Patriots’ former special teams coach, was fired after two ugly seasons with the New York Giants. The Detroit Lions made a terrible decision in hiring Matt Patricia, the former defensive coordinator with the Patriots. Patricia rubbed veterans the wrong way the moment he took over. He foolishly tried to dress down players like Belichick did in film sessions. Patricia lasted 2.5 seasons before the Lions finally came to their senses.
In case you’re wondering, Patricia is available. He’s currently a “special assistant” with the Patriots. He went crawling back to Foxboro and asked Belichick for any job on his staff.
The Houston Texans thought they could find their next GM genius by hiring the Patriots’ director of player personnel. Instead of offering the position to more qualified NFL executives, the Texans hired Nick Caserio. Now, it’s the Raiders’ turn to make a similar misstep. Davis wants to interview Dave Ziegler, the Patriots’ current director of player personnel.