The NFL trade deadline came and went on Tuesday, and the Las Vegas Raiders were not involved. The franchise made no deals which came as a surprise to many as there had been some rumors about potentially moving players.
But late Tuesday night, the Raiders made the biggest move as owner Mark Davis announced that the team had fired head coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler. The Raiders had hoped to be a playoff competitor this season, but the offense has been abysmal all season long, and Davis finally decided to cut ties.
In the aftermath, one rival executive said the Raiders’ firing of McDaniels and Ziegler put some things in perspective. The executive noted that no one from the Raiders’ front office was responding to their calls, which made a lot more sense following the news of the firings via ESPN’s Josina Anderson:
Interesting comment from a team that was still hoping to pry a playmaker from the #Raiders on trade deadline day:
“Explains why they ghosted us…Nobody responded yesterday.”
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) November 1, 2023
Fans had been calling for the firing of McDaniels in particular for some time now. An excellent offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, McDaniels was unable to get the Raiders’ offense out of first gear this season, despite the abundance of skill position talent, leading to ongoing frustrations from players like Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow.
McDaniels and Ziegler came over from the Patriots together with designs on turning around this franchise and bringing them back up amongst the NFL’s elite, but little steps have been taken towards that. The Raiders went from 10-7 the year before their arrival to 6-11 in their first season at the helm.
At 3-5 this year, the Raiders aren’t out of playoff contention just yet, but the team simply hasn’t had any inspiring performances, and if there was any hope of salvaging the season, Davis clearly felt McDaniels and Ziegler had to go.
What is unfortunate is that it seems to have cost the Raiders the opportunity to make some moves, ship out a couple of players, and build up some draft capital. With no front office in place, there was no one there to take calls and negotiate deals leading to this executive saying that the franchise ghosted him.
The move to part ways with McDaniels and Ziegler was surely the right one, but you can’t help but wonder whether the timing could have been a bit better.