The Raiders have announced the hiring of Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler as their new general manager. That means that the official hiring of Patriots OC Josh McDaniels as head coach is right around the corner, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).
Though McDaniels was a late entrant in this year’s coaching cycle — his only interview, which just took place yesterday, was with the Raiders — he became the frontrunner for the position as soon as he was connected to it. Indeed, he reportedly told the team that he would not accept its interview request unless he was going to be offered the job.
Now 45, McDaniels is best known for his lengthy and tremendously successful run as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, first from 2005-2008 and then again from 2012-2021. Of course, he had the privilege of working with QB Tom Brady for almost all of that time, but the work that he did with rookie passer Mac Jones this year also earned him plenty of positive attention. His ill-fated tenure as Broncos head coach from 2009-10 is well in the rearview mirror at this point, and his leaving the Colts at the altar in the 2018 hiring cycle did not seem to deter other clubs from wanting to bring his talents as an offensive guru aboard (though it is worth keeping that jilting in mind until he puts pen to paper).
Assuming he does finalize a deal with Las Vegas, he will inherit QB Derek Carr, who has one year remaining on his current contract. We recently heard that the Raiders’ HC hire would impact Carr’s future in the silver-and-black, but as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network tweets, there is “mutual admiration” between Carr and McDaniels, so it could be that an extension for the soon-to-be 31-year-old passer is in the offing.
Obviously, Ziegler will have some say in that. In his previous post with the Patriots, he revamped the team’s scouting department and free agency strategy, as Cameron Wolfe of NFL.com (on Twitter) notes, and he has received a considerable amount of credit for New England’s quick rise back to competitiveness after a disappointing 2020, the first year of the post-Brady era. His philosophy differed from predecessor Nick Caserio and will likely stray from recently-deposed Raiders GM Mike Mayock‘s approach.
Ziegler and McDaniels first worked together with the Broncos in 2010, and the former joined the Pats’ scouting department in 2013 and gradually rose up the ranks (2021 was his first as director of player personnel, a promotion he received after Caserio left Foxborough to become the Texans’ GM). Ziegler has been viewed as McDaniels’ GM-of-choice for awhile now, and it appears that the partnership will soon make its way west.