General manager Mike Mayock and interim coach Rich Bisaccia were loyal lieutenants during one of the most embarrassing seasons in Las Vegas Raiders history. And their reward for not only keeping the team intact but actually making the playoffs? Having owner Mark Davis search for their replacements before even announcing they wouldn’t be retained.
Raiders open search for new general manager, head coach
NFL Network reported Monday that Davis’ staff had requested permission to interview Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo and director of player personnel Dave Ziegler even before disclosing Mayock was out. Las Vegas informed Mayock Monday that he wasn’t coming back. The team announced the decision after it had leaked to reporters.
“We have relieved Mike Mayock of his duties as general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders,” the team said in a statement. “We thank Mike for his contributions over the last three years in helping form the foundation for the franchise to build upon in its future.”
Bisaccia, as of late Monday, remained on staff. Nonetheless, the team is actively looking to upgrade. Translation — he won’t likely return either, after doing an admirable job keeping the team competitive after Jon Gruden’s resignation. The Raiders also reportedly want to talk to Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds about their GM opening.
Staffing decisions, of course, are completely at Davis’ discretion. But to begin searching for new hires before telling the public you’ve decided to move on from your current employees is a terrible look. Mayock and Bisaccia were left to clean up Gruden’s mess after his abrupt and embarrassing resignation over bigoted emails. And they kept the locker room together after Henry Ruggs’ arrest after he was behind the wheel, allegedly drunk, of a car that sped through Las Vegas and caused a fiery fatal crash.
Mayock’s mixed record as Raiders general manager
None of this is to say Mayock deserved a free pass. Las Vegas went 25-24 in his three years as GM. And Sunday’s loss to the Bengals was the Raiders’ only playoff appearance during his tenure. The Raiders’ draft history during his time had its warts, to say the least. The team had six first-round picks in the last three years. However, none of them turned out to be impact players.
It’s hard to say who deserves the blame — Mayock or Gruden. But Davis apparently had seen enough of both. And again, that’s his prerogative. But his reputation will suffer because of the way he handled it.
Was Mayock on borrowed time?
Back in May of last year, as Day 2 of the draft was about to begin, PFN’s Tony Pauline reported there were going to be big changes in Las Vegas’ scouting department. The Raiders had shocked the football world the day prior by making Alex Leatherwood, a projected Day 2 pick, the 17th overall selection of the draft. This was on the heels of Mayock and the Raiders reaching for players such as Damon Arnette and Clelin Ferrell in previous years, players who have not panned out.
Why did it take so long to fire Mayock? As Pauline mentioned on PFN’s Between the Hashes podcast in October, there were plans to fire Mayock after the draft. Yet, over the summer, there was a mass exodus of front office personnel in the organization, including team president Marc Badain, who had been with the organization since 1991.
As Pauline reported, there was a fear from ownership that making changes to the scouting staff coupled with the front office exodus would lead to ruin within the organization.