Owner Mark Davis has made the first big decision on what is expected to be a turbulent offseason for the Las Vegas Raiders.
There will be plenty more to come as there will be significant changes for an organization that only comes from being second in the playoffs over the past 19 seasons.
Davis fired general manager Mike Mayock on Monday and began arranging interviews with the general manager and coaching candidates, leaving interim coach Rich Bisaccia in limbo.
The players pleaded for Bisaccia to stay with the Raiders (10-8) after he led them to four straight wins to finish the regular season and advance to the playoffs. Las Vegas lost 26-19 to Cincinnati on Saturday and hasn’t won a playoff game since winning the AFC title game in 2002.
“I respect their thoughts and feelings and how they verbalize those things,” Bisaccia said. “I think continuity and consistency in any profession can sometimes be a good thing. But we all know what we’re getting around. I’m in the position I’m in, and I’m sure Mark and I will have more conversations throughout the week, like we did last night, and we’ll see how it works out.
The Raiders rallied around Bisaccia after a tumultuous regular season that was marred by the resignation of coach Jon Gruden following the publication of his old offensive emails, and wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was released after being charged with crimes in a fatal impaired accident that killed a 23-year-old. -old woman.
Players praised Bisaccia for keeping the team together, leading to the strong end to the regular season.
“What hurts the most about losing is the uncertainty,” running back Josh Jacobs said. “The locker room, you don’t know who’s coming back, you don’t know which coaches are coming back. So every day we just try to cherish the moments with each other. With all the adversity we’ve been through, we’ve definitely grown closer and closer.
One of the big questions the Raiders will face this offseason will be what to do with quarterback Derek Carr. He has been solid but is entering the last year of his contract. Las Vegas must decide whether to reward Carr with a lucrative extension, let him play the final year of the deal, or go into rebuilding mode and trade him for draft picks.
“When the time comes, I never want face to face. I’m going to play quarterback, but my message will be a conversation piece,” Carr said. “I’m not going to go to dinner and say, ‘We have to do something.’ I am not that guy. I will make my voice heard, but in a different way.
ON THE LINE
The Raiders’ decision to overhaul their offensive line last offseason backfired. First-round pick Alex Leatherwood slumped at right tackle and still struggled after moving inside to guard. Brandon Parker was exposed at right tackle and John Simpson was outplayed at left guard. Center Andre James showed promising signs in his first season as a starter and left tackle Kolton Miller was solid.
But Las Vegas needs to decide what to do with Leatherwood and probably find at least one or two new starters to bolster the line.
The defense made progress in the first year under coordinator Gus Bradley as rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue had strong seasons, center linebacker Denzel Perryman bolstered the run defense, rookies Nate Hobbs and Trevon Moehrig improved the secondary and Casey Hayward had a good season. at cornerback.
All of those players other than Hayward are expected to return in 2022, but the Raiders could use cornerback assist, solid safety and defensive tackle to get even stronger.
“I feel like we are building something special here,” Ngakoue said. “It will be a great feeling to be able to keep some key players here.”
Davis will interview the coach and general manager candidates and decide which duo will lead the franchise into the future.
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