Raiders fire GM on first turn of significant offseason – Santa Monica Daily Press

JOSH DUBOW/AP Professional football writer

Owner Mark Davis made the first major decision in what could be an eventful offseason for the Las Vegas Raiders.

There is much more to come as there will be significant changes for an organization that has only had their second-place finish in the playoffs for the past 19 seasons.

Davis fired general manager Mike Mayock Monday and began organizing interviews with general managers and coaching candidates, leaving interim coach Rich Bisaccia in limbo.

Players have voted in favor of Bisaccia staying with the Raiders (10-8) after leading them to four straight wins to end the regular season and reach the playoffs. Las Vegas lost 26-19 to Cincinnati on Saturday and has not won a playoff game since winning the 2002 AFC title game.

“I respect their thoughts and feelings and the way 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 walking past. I’m in the position I’m in and I’m sure Mark and I will have more discussions throughout the week like we did last night and we’ll see how things develop. “

The Raiders rallied around Bisaccia after a tumultuous regular season marred by the resignation of coach Jon Gruden for posting his old offensive emails and the release of receiver Henry Ruggs III after being charged with felonies in a fatal DUI accident had been charged, killing a 23-year-old woman.

Players praised Bisaccia for keeping the team together, leading to a strong ending to the regular season.

“The thing that hurts most about losing is the uncertainty,” said running back Josh Jacobs. “The dressing room, you don’t know who’s going to come back, you don’t know which coaches are going to come back. So every day we just try to cherish the moments together. With all the adversity we’ve been through, we’ve all definitely grown closer and closer together.”

QB GOAL

One of the big questions the Raiders will face this offseason will be what to do with quarterback Derek Carr. He has proven solid but is entering the final 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 rebuild mode and trade him for draft picks.

“When the time comes, I never want to be face to face. I will play quarterback, but my message will be spoken about,” Carr said. “I’m not going to go to dinner and say, ‘We have to do something.’ i’m not that type I 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 flopped on the right tackle and was still fighting after going inside to defend. Brandon Parker was unmasked at right tackle and John Simpson was outplayed at left guard. Center Andre James showed promise in his first season as a starter and left tackle Kolton Miller was strong.

But Las Vegas needs to decide what to do with Leatherwood and likely find at least a new starter or two to strengthen the line.

DEFENSE IMPROVEMENT

Defense made progress in the freshman year under coordinator Gus Bradley as edge rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue had strong seasons, middle linebacker Denzel Perryman bolstered run defense, rookies Nate Hobbs and Trevon Moehrig bolstered secondary, and Casey Hayward had a strong season at cornerback.

All of those players except Hayward are expected to return in 2022, but the Raiders could use cornerback help, strong safety and defensive tackling to get even stronger.

“I feel like we’re building something special here,” Ngakoue said. “It will be a great feeling to be able to keep certain key figures here.”

NEXT STEPS

Davis will interview coach and general manager candidates and decide which duo will lead the franchise into the future.

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