Raiders GM Mike Mayock Must Be Fired After This Season
The Las Vegas Raiders have had... well, words don't really do justice to describe the kind of season they've encountered so far.
Jon Gruden resigned after somebody leaked his racist and homophobic emails related to the NFL's investigation of Dan Snyder and the Washington Football Team. Henry Ruggs, one of the bright spots among the team's young players, was arrested and then cut after allegedly driving over 150 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood with a BAC twice the legal limit and crashed, causing the death of a young woman. Video circulated of former first-round cornerback Damon Arnette holding some very large guns and threatening to kill someone before he was released today. And it's only Week 9.
Forget the football side of things. The Raiders are just trying to make it through this season and put all the tumult behind them. The sequence of events have shown that the organization was filled with rotten individuals. Any of the three events listed above would be enough to derail any team's season. Las Vegas had all three occur within a month.
Mark Davis cannot and will not completely clean house in the middle of the season. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia will try and rally the team amidst this adversity to make a push for the playoffs. But when the season ends one way or another, no matter how that end arrives, Mike Mayock has to go.
Mayock is not at fault for everything that happened here. Apparently nobody in the NFL saw the Gruden scandal coming, and general managers across the league have all taken risks on players with character concerns before only to get burned. Mayock could not have foreseen Ruggs facing felony charges or Arnette crashing four rental cars in a month's span as a rookie, as Ian Rapoport tweeted after his release. Hindsight is always 20/20 and no GM is solely responsible for every action of the players he selected.
But Mayock just hasn't been good enough to justify keeping him around after his misses failed so spectacularly. Ruggs and Arnette were both first-round picks in 2020, the type of players the Raiders were hoping would contribute for nearly a decade if everything broke right. Instead, they got next to nothing out of them. Or that entire draft class, for that matter, with the small exception of Bryan Edwards.
That's what Mayock's three drafts have more or less consisted of. He found two rock-solid starters in Josh Jacobs and Kolton Miller. The jury is still out, albeit trending positive, on 2021 first-rounder Alex Leatherwood. But everybody else has been below-average or worse. Clelin Ferrell was a healthy scratch earlier this year and was the fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft. General managers simply cannot miss on first-round picks like Mayock has and expect to keep their jobs.
But it's not just the draft! Last offseason, I laid out how badly Mayock has misplayed free agency with the Raiders and nothing has improved. The Raiders' free agent additions that came after that piece was written haven't done much; Yannick Ngakoue was a good value find, but John Brown asked to be released after less than a month and everyone else has been performing at a replacement level.
Simply put, Mayock has done nothing right. He's essentially thrown away a very large chunk of Mark Davis' money in free agency. His hits in the draft have been completely offset by his catastrophic misses. He has provided no net value to this team, which is still being driven by the Derek Carr-Darren Waller connection that existed before Mayock.
Mayock isn't going to get canned in the middle of the season because that's the last thing the roster needs right now. Any stability is welcome, and Mayock is, if anything, a familiar face to the locker room after a few years in charge. But once the final game is played and the last seconds tick off the clock, whether it's in the regular season or the postseason, Mayock needs to go.