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ESPN News Services

November 1, 2023, 01:08 AM ET

6 Minute Read

Raiders Fire Coach Josh McDaniels and GM David Ziegler

Las Vegas Raiders announce they have fired head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager David Ziegler.

The Las Vegas Raiders made a significant decision late Tuesday night, as they announced the firing of coach Josh McDaniels and general manager David Ziegler.

This development came after owner Mark Davis carefully evaluated the team’s needs for moving forward. In a statement, Davis expressed his gratitude for McDaniels and Ziegler’s hard work and wished them and their families the best. However, the decision to part ways with them was inevitable.

Sources have informed ESPN’s Adam Schefter that linebackers coach Antonio Pierce will assume the role of interim head coach for the Raiders. Additionally, assistant general manager Champ Kelly will fill in as the interim general manager following Ziegler’s departure.

When reached out to by ESPN, Davis declined to provide further comment.

The decision to dismiss McDaniels and Ziegler came shortly after the Raiders’ defeat to the Detroit Lions on “Monday Night Football,” which resulted in a 26-14 loss. This loss further dropped the team’s overall season record to 3-5.

McDaniels was serving his second season as the Raiders’ head coach after signing a six-year contract in January 2022. As part of the agreement, Las Vegas is obligated to pay McDaniels for four more full years.

With a final record of 9-16 and no playoff appearances, McDaniels’ tenure with the Raiders falls as the third-worst record among coaches with at least 25 games. He was appointed as the head coach following the 2021 season when Davis chose not to retain interim coach Rich Bisaccia, despite an unexpected playoff run led by him.

During their initial offseason, McDaniels and Ziegler made several notable moves. This included trading first and second-round picks for Davante Adams, awarding a substantial free agent contract to defensive end Chandler Jones, and extending the contracts of Derek Carr, Maxx Crosby, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow.

However, these decisions failed to yield positive results on the field. McDaniels struggled to build the high-powered offense that Davis had hoped for and faced difficulty in achieving victory.

The Raiders experienced a record-tying five games lost after holding double-digit leads. This included a devastating collapse in McDaniels’ home debut against the Arizona Cardinals, where they blew a 20-0 halftime lead—making it the largest comeback defeat in franchise history. Subsequently, they lost to the Indianapolis Colts in Jeff Saturday’s first game as interim head coach, despite his lack of experience coaching above the high school level. Additionally, they suffered a defeat to the Los Angeles Rams just two days after Baker Mayfield joined the team.

McDaniels made the controversial decision to bench Carr late last season and eventually released him in the offseason. This decision left the Raiders without a return on their investment, as Carr went on to secure a $150 million contract with the New Orleans Saints as a starting quarterback.

To replace Carr, McDaniels brought in his former pupil from the New England Patriots, Jimmy Garoppolo, as the new starting quarterback. Unfortunately, the offense’s performance severely declined, becoming the first team since 2009 to score fewer than 20 points in each of their first eight games of the season.

The last couple of weeks proved humbling for Las Vegas, as they faced an embarrassing 30-12 defeat against the Chicago Bears and undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent, who hails from Division II. Their performance hit a new low during Monday night’s loss to the Detroit Lions.

Notably, this report includes information from The Associated Press.

AI legalese decoder:

The AI legalese decoder can assist in this situation by providing legal analysis and advice on issues such as contractual obligations, employment termination, and potential legal implications arising from McDaniels’ and Ziegler’s dismissals. It can also evaluate the ownership’s legal responsibilities and potential considerations for the appointment of interim coaches and management. Additionally, the AI legalese decoder can help identify any potential legal risks or implications related to the Raiders’ player contracts, trades, and any other transactions mentioned in the article.

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