Both Todd Bowles and Jack Del Rio are entering their third season with their current teams. That 2015 offseason both were among those slated to interview with the Raiders. Del Rio ended up interviewing twice before taking the job, while Bowles opted out of his interview with the team.
There are many possible reasons Bowles could have turned down the opportunity. Many of which are nothing to be salty about if you’re a Raiders fan.
Keep in mind, the Raiders had interviewed 8 candidates before Bowles was scheduled to make the visit and Bowles was to be the last.
Not all teams with which he was to interview were serious about hiring him. Each team must fulfill the Rooney Rule when considering a new head coach. The Raiders were figuring he could swing by while he was in the Bay Area interviewing for the 49ers job. But if he thought the Raiders had someone else in mind — they had already interviewed Jack Del Rio by that point — and/or he had more serious teams to visit like, say the Jets, who actually hired him, then it makes no sense from his standpoint to take the time and effort.
The worst thing that came of it was that Reggie McKenzie had to fly to Indianapolis to interview Pep Hamilton to satisfy the Rooney Rule. Good for Pep getting his name out there.
In the end, the Raiders got their guy. Jack Del Rio became available three days later when the Broncos were knocked out of the playoffs and a few days after that he became the Raiders next head coach.
There’s no sense in holding some kind of grudge with Bowles. I wouldn’t think the Raiders brass does. Del Rio got the Raiders job just like we figured he would even before the season was over and Bowles became the head coach of the Jets.
In Bowles’ first year in New York the Jets went 10-6, though they lost to Del Rio’s Raiders. Last season they fell to 5-11 last season in large part due to quarterback issues that began before Bowles was hired and that continue today. Now he is in a tough position trying to lead a team that has been gutted by management. Meanwhile the Raiders are coming off a 12-4 season with Super Bowl aspirations.
All’s well that ends well.