Josh McDaniels

Raiders QB Notes: Lamar, Garoppolo, Rodgers, Mac, Hoyer

After an unusual number of teams have been mentioned as not being interested in Lamar Jackson, the Raiders can be included as a potential suitor. The Silver and Black have not eliminated Jackson or any of the big-name QBs still available, Dianna Russini of tweets.

Jackson would represent the biggest fish left, and the list of teams listed as early stay-aways dwarfs those being connected to the Ravens’ franchise player. The Commanders, Dolphins, Falcons and Panthers have been connected to steering clear of Jackson — at least on the fully guaranteed contract he seeks. The Raiders moved on from Derek Carr and created some cap space as a result, though they still have three skill-position players — Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow — tied to extensions.

It would cost the Raiders at least two first-round picks to obtain Jackson from the Ravens, who would have the option to match an offer sheet. The teams could also work out a trade involving another compensation package.

The Raiders’ most logical connection remains Jimmy Garoppolo, who has ties to Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. The Raiders were mentioned as a potential Garoppolo suitor in January, and many at the Combine voiced an expectation the team will pursue the former Patriots and 49ers passer, Dan Graziano of notes.

Garoppolo still might be a backup plan, with Aaron Rodgers rumblings surfacing again. The Jets are currently meeting with the future Hall of Famer, but Graziano adds McDaniels has long respected him. Pushback regarding the Raiders’ Rodgers interest has also emerged, and McDaniels indicated an aim to develop a young passer. Rodgers would not qualify as a bridge option like Garoppolo, as a trade for the Packers great would be for a Super Bowl run. Garoppolo, conversely, could be used as a high-end placeholder.

The Jets have made their interest in Rodgers crystal clear, and the Packers greenlit an all-hands-on-deck Jets recruiting effort Tuesday in California. The Raiders have kept their cards closer to the vest. Way back when Rodgers dropped his initial trade-request bombshell on the league — in April 2021 — the Raiders joined the Broncos as being an acceptable destination. Much has changed in Las Vegas since. Jon Gruden making a controversial exit that ultimately led to McDaniels and Ziegler taking over, but that duo signed off on a blockbuster trade for Adams. Rodgers attempted to convince Adams to stay in Green Bay last year, but the longtime Carr ally had made up his mind.

In the event Rodgers removes himself from the Jets’ equation, Garoppolo would have an apparent path to New York. But he spent the first three-plus seasons of his career in McDaniels’ offense. After the new Raiders power duo deemed Carr an iffy fit for McDaniels’ attack, a familiar face running the show would be a logical move for the team.

On the familiarity front, Graziano also mentions chatter about the Raiders having interest in acquiring Mac Jones while adding the Patriots are unlikely to move him. Jones regressed last season and fared better under McDaniels compared to Matt Patricia, but the Pats appear prepared to see how their 2021 first-rounder looks in Bill O’Brien‘s offense. The Raiders have eyes on another ex-Patriot, however, with the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin adding Brian Hoyer would be on McDaniels’ radar as a mentor-type presence. But Hoyer is leaning toward retiring, per Volin. McDaniels worked with Hoyer, 37, from 2017-18 and again from 2020-21. The former Patriots UDFA has been in the NFL since 2008.

The Raiders have begun talks to bring back Jarrett Stidham, who has been a McDaniels pupil at every step of his NFL career. With only ex-UDFA Chase Garbers under contract with the Silver and Black, the team will continue to be connected to big names and/or a first-round investment at the game’s premier position.

Latest On Raiders’ QB Situation

Since their decision to move on from Derek Carrquestions have been raised about which direction the Raiders will go in at the quarterback position. As they and other teams continue the evaluation process of both free agent and draft options, much remains uncertain.

General manager Dave Ziegler recently acknowledged that a long-term Carr successor may not be in place by the time the 2023 season kicks off. That was particularly noteworthy given the fact that the Raiders currently hold the seventh overall pick in the upcoming draft, and that they have a number of free agent priorities to address with the money which would be saved by not acquiring a high-end veteran starter. Comments from head coach Josh McDaniels point to a rookie passer still being a distinct possibility for next year, though.

When speaking about the work he and the Raiders would do in meeting with and evaluating the 2023 QB class during the combine, McDaniels affirmed that the organization’s goal does remain adding someone who is “going to be a Raider for a long time.” Las Vegas would have to compete with the likes of the Texans, Colts and Panthers in terms of teams holding top-10 picks which are likely to be targeting rookie passers. Jockeying with those squads could become increasingly relevant given the Bears’ willingness to move the No. 1 pick.

“The goal for us, eventually, is to have somebody that’s going to be here for a long time,” McDaniels elaborated, via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez“You see the teams that are having success right now in our league, our conference and specifically in our division, they’re young players that were drafted by their clubs and they’re being developed there under the same continuity.”

Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud are likely to be out of the Raiders’ range barring a trade up the board, but other quarterbacks like Kentucky’s Will Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson could be options. The team’s evaluations of those passers will become crucial in informing their short- and long-term plans at the position, though McDaniels pointed out that “a number of” QBs will be acquired in the coming weeks and months.

Part of the reason for that, of course, is the fact that Jarrett Stidham, who finished the year as the team’s starter, is not under contract. On that point, Ziegler noted (via Vic Tafur of The Athletic) that talks have begun with the former Patriots draftee. He added that the team is “happy” with Stidham’s performance in his brief audition after Carr was benched, though at least one other option capable of competing for the starting role will no doubt be added in either March or April. Which path the Raiders take to accomplish that very much remains up in the air.

Raiders Looking Into Tom Brady Addition

Tom Brady still has at least one more game to play for the Buccaneers, but that hasn’t stopped pundits (and, potentially, other NFL teams) from considering where he could play next season. During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show (Twitter link), Albert Breer of TheMMQB said the Raiders are “unequivocally” looking into the possibility of adding the future Hall of Famer.

The Brady/Raiders comment was preceded by a question about Jimmy Garoppolo, with Breer noting that the Raiders are also doing their due diligince on the 49ers QB. In fact, Breer believes Derek Carr was thrown into a de facto competition with the two impending free agents, with Josh McDaniels, Dave Ziegler, and co. ultimately deciding they could squeeze more out of the quarterback position from someone else.

As Breer explains, when the current regime initially signed Carr to an extension, they thought they were locking in their equivalent of Alex Smith in Kansas City. In other words, the Raiders thought their veteran QB would be able to guide them to postseason performances while the front office identified their play-caller of the future. At 31, Jimmy G could allow the Raiders to continue with that plan, while Brady would obviously force the organization to go in a completely different direction as they load up for temporary contention.

With McDaniels and Ziegler having both worked alongside Brady and Garoppolo in New England, the connections are obvious, and it really wouldn’t be surprising if one of these QBs reunites with their former coach in Las Vegas. At the moment, the big question is which of these two quarterbacks is atop the Raiders’ wish list.

Elsewhere in Raiders QB news, the organization is set to meet with Carr soon. As Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal explains, the QB and the Raiders agreed to meet after the season to “discuss the situation and all the various options.”

Mark Davis Drove Raiders’ Derek Carr Call?

The Raiders’ Derek Carr decision has become this week’s top NFL storyline, and it sets up an interesting trade market for a player who has been loosely involved in trade rumors for years. It may not have been Josh McDaniels‘ decision to move in this direction. At least, not right now.

McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler met Monday and Tuesday nights discussing their quarterback plan, and while a benching was mentioned as a possibility, Vic Tafur of The Athletic views it as likely McDaniels and Ziegler were planning to keep Carr as the team’s starter to close out the season. Mark Davis looks to have played a role in the decision that led to Jarrett Stidham being announced the starter and Carr leaving the team for the time being, Tafur adds (subscription required).

[RELATED: Where Will Carr Play Next Season?]

Carr has played for four six Raiders HCs, counting interims Tony Sparano and Rich Bisaccia, over his nine-year career. The GM that drafted Carr, Reggie McKenzie, extended him at $25MM per year during the 2017 offseason. While the Jon Gruden period brought steady trade rumors, the Raiders hung onto their starter. Carr became the longest-tenured starting QB in Raiders history and now owns the team’s all-time passing records — by a substantial margin.

McDaniels and Ziegler extended him this year, albeit with the much-discussed February escape hatch, but interviews with the ex-Patriots duo and other GMs this offseason curiously did not feature the Raider interviewers discussing Carr in a positive light. Coaching and GM candidates were surprised to hear Raiders officials’ Carr assessments during the job interviews, according to Tafur, who adds Davis has been lukewarm on the starter for a long time. Davis and former Raiders VP of player personnel Ken Herock led the coach-GM search this year, and the owner ended up letting McDaniels and Ziegler make the call on Carr.

The new Raiders power brokers settled on the half-measure extension — a three-year, $121.4MM deal that includes the out three days after Super Bowl LVII — and it looks like the parties will aim to capitalize on the narrow trade window. They will explore doing so despite Davante Adams seeking a trade to Las Vegas to reunite with Carr. If Carr goes, it will be interesting to see how Adams’ Vegas future unfolds.

The Raiders taking the opportunity to make the $40.4MM bonus — Carr’s full 2023 base salary and $7.5MM of his 2024 base pay — another team’s responsibility would cost them barely $5MM in dead money. That is quite the low sum associated with dealing a quality starter less than a year after the extension ink dried, but Carr agreed to the terms and landed a no-trade clause. That will protect the three-time Pro Bowler, who should have options once trade talks commence.

Davis was in place as the team’s owner when McKenzie drafted Carr 36th overall in 2014, and after several post-Rich Gannon misfires by the organization, Carr offered stability — albeit without giving his team a top-tier option under center — and durability. He has only missed two career regular-season games, but it looks like the owner is ready to move on. Carr’s inability to lead a game-tying drive against the Bengals in the wild-card round last season gnawed at Davis, per Tafur, despite the quarterback piloting four straight wins to help Bisaccia become the rare interim coach to lead his team to the playoffs. Bisaccia received consideration for the full-time gig, but Davis passed, leading the longtime special teams coach to Green Bay.

Carr remains a Raider partially because Gruden backed out of the Tom Brady pursuit two years ago, leading to some colorful Brady language re: Carr. Gruden viewed Brady as too old at that point, Tafur adds. Brady was preparing for his age-43 season at that point, and although the Raiders joined other teams in being connected to the legendary signal-caller, he ended up deciding between the Buccaneers and the Chargers. It is not certain the Raiders would have beaten out the Bucs for Brady’s services, but with McDaniels now running the show, look for Brady — ahead of an age-46 season he is not a lock to pursue — to be connected to the Raiders again.

Raiders Not Considering Defensive Changes

Part of the Raiders’ struggles this season has been an underwhelming performance by the team’s defense. Aside from a notable coaching decision made last week, though, no major changes with respect to players or coaches will be coming any time soon.

Las Vegas ranks 28th in the league in both total and scoring defense, despite a number of moves made in the offseason which led to heightened expectations the unit could at least effectively complement the Raiders’ talented array of skill-position players. That included bringing in Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator after he spent the past two seasons in the same capacity with the Giants.

One element of the team’s lackluster performance to date has been its pass rush. Despite having a starting edge tandem of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, the Raiders have registered a league-worst 10 sacks this season. The latter has accounted for just 0.5 of that total, a figure which marks a major disappointment relative to the $52.5MM deal he signed this offseason. Significant alterations to the rotation, or along the sidelines, are not being considered for the remainder of the season, however.

“What’s the alternative?” head coach Josh McDaniels said, via Tashan Reed of The Athletic (subscription required). “I think that’s our job to look at that and consider it that way, but I also think throwing things out there just because you’re frustrated with the results doesn’t necessarily mean that the results are going to change for the better at all. Matter of fact, they could get dramatically worse.”

Eyebrows were raised this past Sunday when three notable defenders were deactivated. Defensive linemen Clelin Ferrell, Matthew Butler and Neil Farrell were each healthy scratches for the team’s 25-20 loss to the Colts. Reed tweets that the decision was made as a result of an unspecified non-football matter.

Amidst the Raiders’ 2-7 campaign, questions have been raised about the commitment level of certain players, a list which may include Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller. McDaniels’ job security has also been a talking point in recent weeks, though owner Mark Davis emphatically put an end to speculation about a change being made in that regard in at least the intermediate future. The same will apparently hold true both on the field and the sidelines for the team’s defense.

Raiders Owner Endorses Josh McDaniels As 2023 Head Coach

Yesterday saw the Raiders lose to the Colts in Jeff Saturday‘s NFL coaching debut. The result dropped Vegas to 2-7, and extended their losing streak to three games. Keeping in line with recent reporting on the matter, however, Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels is not in danger of being let go in the near future.

The first-year Vegas bench boss has been “given assurances” by owner Mark Davis that he will remain in his position through the balance of this season into 2023 (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jeff Howe). That comes after calls for a coaching change picked up in recent weeks, as the team has habitually given up sizeable leads and struggled to find consistency on offense.

“I like Josh. I think he’s doing a fantastic job. That’s why I hired him,’ Davis said, via Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal“We did an exhaustive search and found the person we believe is going to bring the Raiders to greatness.”

Vegas entered the season coming off of a surprise playoff berth, and moderate expectations given moves such as McDaniels’ hiring and the acquisition of wideout Davante Adams. While few projections had them contending to win the highly-regarded AFC West, the retool started this offseason with McDaniels as HC and fellow Patriots alumnus Dave Ziegler as GM was expected to produce better performances and results than the team has put together so far.

Davis added that he has “no issues” with McDaniels, who is reportedly on a four-year contract. The pair have routinely had postgame meetings with one another during the season, something which has occasionally fueled speculation that significant changes would be forthcoming. McDaniels did not make it through his second season during his previous HC stint with the Broncos – something which, of course, was followed by his last-minute backing out of the Colts’ job four years ago. Davis’ remarks certainly suggest that the 46-year-old will have a longer leash this time around.

McDaniels and the Raiders will next play the Broncos, a team which, at 3-6, has induced plenty of outcry regarding their own coaching hire from the offseason. Regardless of the outcome of that game, a long-term view is indeed being used in Vegas.

Raiders’ Josh McDaniels Not On Hot Seat

Following their decision to reboot after a playoff berth, the Raiders are 2-6. While the other first-year AFC West coach has drawn rampant scrutiny and generated one-and-done rumors, Josh McDaniels is not believed to be in the boat in which Nathaniel Hackett resides.

McDaniels is not viewed as a hot-seat occupant, according to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson (Twitter link) and Jonathan Jones. Famously fired during his second season in Denver 12 years ago, McDaniels has become somewhat of a polarizing presence — largely due to his decision to spurn the Colts in 2018 — since initially leaving the Patriots for the Broncos. His first Raiders stretch has not generated much success. McDaniels, 46, is now 13-23 as a head coach.

Jon Gruden‘s forced resignation led to interim HC Rich Bisaccia helming a resurgent 2021 Raiders team to the playoffs. While Mark Davis interviewed Bisaccia for the full-time job, they became the latest team to give the keys to ex-Bill Belichick lieutenants. McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler authorized several extensions this offseason. Derek Carr, Maxx Crosby, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller each reupped with the team, which traded first- and second-round picks for Davante Adams, who received a then-record-setting extension. This Raiders edition entered the season as a top-heavy operation; this situation was viewed as a multiyear retooling project. But the early returns have generated speculation regarding McDaniels’ future.

Despite the Raiders blowing three 17-plus-point leads this season, a source informed Jones the Raiders are a better-managed coaching staff compared to the Gruden period. That said, the team has taken steps back defensively under McDaniels hire Patrick Graham, who was on the HC radar, and has been inconsistent offensively. The Raiders rank 28th in both total defense and points allowed; the franchise has not ranked in the top half in points allowed since 2002. Las Vegas’ defense did rank 14th in total defense and 17th in DVOA last season.

Only 13 coaches have been one-and-dones this century. Hackett walked into a situation with slightly higher expectations, due to the Russell Wilson trade. The 3-5 Broncos’ struggles, with the first-time HC at the center of them, have led to those one-and-done rumors. McDaniels is on a four-year contract, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). Cutting off his stay at one season would be a chunk of guaranteed money for Davis, not one of the league’s richer owners, to eat.

Las Vegas was connected to making buyer’s trades before last week’s deadline, but they have lost two games since that report emerged. The second part of McDaniels’ first season will move to evaluation, with the longtime Patriots OC’s offense on the complicated side. Judging how players progress in that scheme will be paramount to the Raiders’ future, if Davis is keen on giving the coach another chance. Most owners take this route. It should be expected McDaniels will be given the 2023 season to establish himself in Vegas, but the heat will be turned up — especially if his first season stays on this course.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

The NFL experienced a busy offseason on the coaching front. A whopping 10 teams changed coaches during the 2022 offseason, with the Buccaneers’ late-March switch pushing the number into double digits.

Fourteen of the league’s 32 head coaches were hired in the past two offseasons, illustrating the increased pressure the NFL’s sideline leaders face in today’s game. Two of the coaches replaced this year left on their own. Sean Payton vacated his spot in second on the longest-tenured HCs list by stepping down from his 16-year Saints post in February, while Bruce Arians has repeatedly insisted his Bucs exit was about giving his defensive coordinator a chance with a strong roster and not a Tom Brady post-retirement power play.

While Bill Belichick has been the league’s longest-tenured HC for many years, Payton’s exit moved Mike Tomlin up to No. 2. Mike Zimmer‘s firing after nine seasons moved Frank Reich into the top 10. Reich’s HC opportunity only came about because Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts in 2018, but Indianapolis’ backup plan has led the team to two playoff brackets and has signed an extension. Reich’s seat is hotter in 2022, however, after a January collapse. Linked to numerous HC jobs over the past several offseasons, McDaniels finally took another swing after his Broncos tenure ended quickly.

As 2022’s training camps approach, here are the NFL’s longest-tenured HCs:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2025
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018; extended through 2026
  11. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019; extended through 2027
  12. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  13. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  14. Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team): January 1, 2020
  15. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  16. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  17. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  18. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  19. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  20. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  21. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  22. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  23. Nathaniel Hackett (Denver Broncos): January 27, 2022
  24. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  25. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  26. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  27. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  28. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  29. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  30. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  31. Lovie Smith (Houston Texans): February 7, 2022
  32. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022

Raiders, Chandler Jones Agree To Deal

The Raiders will land one of the top players on this year’s market. They have agreed to terms with Chandler Jones, Tom Pelissero of tweets. The sides agreed to a three-year deal worth $52.5MM, Ian Rapoport of tweets, adding that the deal includes $34MM guaranteed.

This will reunite the former All-Pro with Josh McDaniels and Patrick Graham, who were both in New England during the first chapter of Jones’ career. After breaking through to the All-Pro level in Arizona, Jones will relocate to Las Vegas and join Maxx Crosby atop their edge-rushing stable.

For barely a minute, a Raiders reality with Crosby, Jones and Yannick Ngakoue existed. But the team is trading Ngakoue to the Colts. This will clear out some money for a Raiders squad that now has a Pro Bowl edge partnership. Jones bounced back after a biceps injury halted his 2020 season early; he registered 10.5 sacks in his sixth Cardinals season. Cards owner Michael Bidwill expressed a desire to re-sign Jones, who then tweeted laughing emojis after the owner’s comments. Unsurprisingly, the Cards were not closely connected with Jones during the legal tampering period.

Jones, 32, began the 2021 season as a disgruntled Cardinal, having requested a trade after voicing frustration about his contract. Several pass rushers had surpassed Jones’ 2017 extension — a $16.5MM-per-year pact — but he played out the deal. Jones is not exactly leaving the desert, with the Raiders now in Las Vegas, but his Cardinals chapter is over. He has agreed to similar terms with the Raiders. Jones appears to have missed his window to land a $20MM-plus-year-year accord, but he has still done quite well for himself during his prime.

The Raiders recently gave Crosby a $23.5MM-per-year extension. They are now fully loaded at the edge spot. Jones led the NFL with 17 sacks in 2017 — a year after the Patriots dealt him to Arizona — and posted a 19-sack slate in 2019. Making Pro Bowls with both the Pats and Cards, Jones will attempt to aid the Raiders in an AFC West suddenly flush with pass rushers. Jones, Khalil Mack and Randy Gregory are each with AFC West teams now, creating a division stacked at both quarterback and players paid to pursue QBs.

Raiders’ Dave Ziegler To Control Roster

Josh McDaniels is the biggest name heading to Las Vegas this offseason, but his former New England coworker will be the one in charge. Dave Ziegler will control the Raiders’ roster, according to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin.

A GM controlling a team’s roster is not particularly unusual, though a few head coaches still have final say. It is notable here, given the Raiders’ recent past and McDaniels’ history in such a role.

Mark Davis gave Jon Gruden such power, and the team made repeated missteps in the draft and in free agency. Although the Raiders also had some success, their big-ticket moves mostly bombed under Gruden. McDaniels assumed such control when he replaced Mike Shanahan in Denver in 2009. McDaniels’ feud with Jay Cutler preceded a controversial trade, one that soon left the Broncos with Kyle Orton as their starting quarterback. A year later, the Broncos traded three picks to move up for Tim Tebow in the first round. While McDaniels also experienced some success, via the 2010 draft choices of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, he is largely remembered for personnel failures — among other shortcomings — during his first try as a head coach.

Ziegler began his career as an NFL exec under McDaniels in Denver stay but spent the past nine years in New England. He climbed the ladder with the Patriots last year, finishing his run as the team’s assistant director of player personnel. The Pats gave Ziegler a raise after Nick Caserio‘s 2021 departure.

Ziegler’s GM interview led McDaniels to Vegas, per Volin, who adds the owner did not know McDaniels was interested in the team’s HC job. Ziegler replied that McDaniels would follow him to Nevada. This will be McDaniels’ first HC opportunity (other than the Colts gig he turned down) since the Broncos fired him late in the 2010 season. The Ziegler-McDaniels duo will now attempt to establish long-term success without Bill Belichick‘s guidance.