In a surprising but somewhat expected move, the Las Vegas Raiders have parted ways with head coach Josh McDaniels and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi. After a lackluster start to the season with a 3-5 record, Raiders owner Al Davis felt the need for an organizational shake-up.
While the team refrained from offloading key assets at the deadline, the McDaniels ousting signals a pivot toward a new direction for the franchise.
Why the Downfall for McDaniels?
At the core of McDaniels' dismissal lies a glaring issue: an inability to secure wins.
McDaniels concluded his Raiders stint with a lackluster 9-16 record, which includes last year's disappointing 6-11 season. But the lack of victories is just the tip of the iceberg. Under McDaniels, the Raiders have struggled offensively, despite having an ostensibly talented roster featuring players like Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs.
In fact, the Raiders are the only team this season that hasn't scored 21 points in a single game. In a league where offense often dictates success, this is an unforgivable offence.
The Jimmy Garoppolo Question
Jimmy Garoppolo's future with the Raiders appears uncertain, especially in the wake of this recent upheaval.
The quarterback's performance this season has been far from stellar, adding more salt to the Raiders' wound. The former 49er, who had flourished under offensive-savvy head coach Kyle Shanahan, couldn't duplicate that success under McDaniels' system.
This has led the franchise to bench Garoppolo in favor of rookie quarterback Aidan O'Connell, who will start in Week 9.
A New Dawn: 2024 NFL Draft Plans
The organizational reshuffle comes at an intriguing time for the Raiders as they prepare for the 2024 NFL Draft.
The draft is flush with promising quarterbacks, including names like Drake Maye, Shedeur Sanders, and Michael Penix Jr. Currently sitting at the eighth overall pick, the Raiders are in an opportune position to snag a franchise quarterback.
With Garoppolo's hefty contract rendering him increasingly expendable, a trade or even a cut seems plausible. Insiders suggest the team is already in talks with potential new head coaches, focusing on younger, offensive-minded talent to steer the ship.
As for Garoppolo, his contract, which extends until 2026, with a $6.7 million cap hit and up to $55 million in dead money, may prove to be an albatross that the team will need to address sooner rather than later. All eyes are on Las Vegas as they navigate through this period of significant change, recalibrating their compass towards a more promising future.