Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis turned Halloween into Christmas for some fans after making a few key changes overnight. The Las Vegas Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Zeigler following a disappointing 3-5 start to the regular season. However, the move could prove costly for a franchise that has been to the playoffs just twice in the last 20 seasons.
McDaniels Becomes First NFL Coach Fired After Slow Start
Despite being dubbed as an offensive mastermind, the Raiders have struggled to score points consistently under McDaniels. Through eight games, Las Vegas has managed just 15.8 points per game, the third-lowest mark in the NFL. Las Vegas also ranks second-last in the league in total yards per game (268.3) and dead-last in rushing yards per game (70) despite having 2022 NFL rushing leader Josh Jacobs in the backfield.
Meanwhile, All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams has suddenly disappeared on offense over the past four weeks. After a blazing start to the season, which included a 172-yard, two-touchdown performance versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, Adams has finished with fewer than 60 yards receiving in each of the team’s last four games. Despite expressing frustration over his role in the offense, Adams had just one catch for 11 yards in the Raiders’ 26-14 loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.
Raiders Now Paying $40 to $80 Million in Dead Salary To McDaniels, Gruden
For Las Vegas, the end of the McDaniels’ era will be even more costly on the books than it was on the football field. The franchise has had some bad luck with NFL coaching hires recently and those mistakes could come back to haunt the Raiders for years to come. After McDaniels was fired on Halloween, owner Mark Davis will have to fork over some serious cash to pay for those mistakes.
The Raiders gave McDaniels a six-year contract in January 2022. He has over four full years left on the deal, and since NFL coaches salaries are fully guaranteed, the Raiders will be on the hook for the full amount. Meanwhile, Gruden has a whopping six years left on his original $100 million deal. Davis revealed that Gruden and the franchise came to a settlement for an undisclosed amount.
According to Joe Pompliano, the Raiders will be forced to pay McDaniels and Jon Gruden (who resigned in 2021) between $40 million to $80 million over the next six years, depending on the settlement of Gruden’s lawsuit.