The Las Vegas Raiders are one of the seven teams searching for a new head coach this offseason, but the only organization of the group that qualified for the postseason. It's a strange set of circumstances that we see very rarely in the NFL, but then again the Jon Gruden situation was itself unprecedented.
Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia did a great job leading his team through the extremely turbulent waters of the 2021 season, but while he'll get a shot at interviewing for the permanent position, the Raiders will leave no stone unturned to look for the next leader of the franchise-- and it's a very important hire after what's occurred. With that in mind, here are three possible options.
As mentioned above, Bisaccia will get a fair shot at convincing Mark Davis that he deserves to stay aboard as the full-time head coach and he has a solid case. He was somewhat unremarkable in terms of his game management, but his ability to keep everyone focused despite multiple arrests to high-profile players and the Gruden debacle was exceptional. The players clearly love him. He spent all night after their playoff loss in Cincinnati hand-writing notes to each player on the roster. Far more goes into being a head coach than having the respect and admiration of the locker room, but that can often be the trickiest part and is the strongest aspect of Bisaccia's case to stick around. The question, though, is if he can elevate the roster to championship contention.
The Harbaugh to the NFL noise has died off a bit over the last week, but if the Michigan coach decides to return to the pro level, the Raiders make by far the most sense, as outlined by our own Kyle Koster earlier this month. Harbaugh broke into the league as a coach with the franchise, is apparently buddies with Mark Davis, and has a good quarterback to work with in Derek Carr. It feels very unlikely Harbaugh would leave college to embark upon a rebuild project and the Raiders have the most complete roster of any team with an opening at head coach right now. Davis also (obviously) likes the big-name, flashy hire and Harbaugh certainly qualifies. He's the leader in the clubhouse if any of the rumors about his interest prove legitimate.
Pederson is commonplace among these lists this year and for good reason. He is a championship-level coach who was ousted from his old job more due to conflicts with upper management than failures on the field (although there were plenty of those, too). As a former Super Bowl winner he'd bring the big-name attribute for Davis, and he's a good coach on top of it. Pederson will likely have his pick as everybody's favorite coaching candidate this cycle but the Raiders should be psyched if he picked them.