We’re on the second day of a critical offseason for the Las Vegas Raiders as they begin their searches for both a new head coach and a general manager.
The early news suggest Las Vegas owner Mark Davis is initially much more focused on his general-manager search than the coach search.
There has been six reported candidates to replace the fired Dave Ziegler. The Raiders have reportedly asked permission to talk to San Francisco 49ers executive Adam Peters, Indianapolis Colts’ front-office man Ed Dobbs, Trey Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals and Terrance Gray of Buffalo for the general manager position. They are also reportedly interviewing former Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco.
Raiders’ interim general manager Champ Kelly is also expected to be a strong candidate as well and there will likely be other candidates. Kelly is also a candidate in Carolina.
Meanwhile, there hasn’t been any reports of any movement on the head-coaching interview front in Las Vegas.
There are currently six head-coaching openings and there could always be more with the possibility of the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick parting ways looming over the league. In addition to the Raiders, the Los Angeles Chargers, Washington Commanders, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons are looking for head coaches. There have been reports about potential candidates with most of those teams.
In Las Vegas, meanwhile, the speculation revolves around interim head coach Antonio Pierce and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. Bleacher Report reported Monday that Davis is expected to choose between Pierce and Harbaugh.
If the #raiders are considering Antonio Pierce for thier head coaching job ... why isn't he getting any love from other team's looking for their next head coach? @mikegarafolo brilliantly explains why on the latest The NFL Report. pic.twitter.com/fn4nUb2Vy2— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 9, 2024
So, that may mean the Raiders will make a run at Harbaugh, who just won the National Championship on Monday night. If the Raiders can’t reel in Harbaugh. who has also been connected to the Chargers and Falcons, perhaps then Pierce, who is already being connected to the defensive coordinator job with the New York Giants if he doesn’t stay in las Vegas, will get the promotion.
Still, the fact that the Raiders are casting a wide net in the GM search may mean Davis is open minded about the head-coaching job. Any general manager will want input on the hire and they could have other candidates in mind.
So, this process is really just getting going.
I do find it interesting that many of Davis’ candidates have talked to the team before. Kelly, Dobbs and Brown were all candidates two years ago before Ziegler was hired.
Meanwhile, it was reported over the weekend that the team told coaches and staffers they were welcome to look at other positions while this process plays out. The Raiders could lose offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo. NFL Media reported Tuesday that the New York Giants have interest.
Again, this hiring process is just beginning, but the intrigue has already begun in several ways involving the Raiders.