Update — The Raiders have given McDaniels assurance he’ll be head coach going into the 2023 NFL season, per The Athletic. So despite the Raiders’ struggles this season, McDaniels isn’t going anywhere at least until 2023, if the team hasn’t improved.
The Las Vegas Raiders had high hopes entering the 2022 NFL season. Most of that was because of the addition of long-time New England Patriots offensive coordinator and Bill Belichick disciple Josh McDaniels. Things couldn’t be going worse for the Raiders after a 25-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10 on Sunday afternoon.
There’s one potential snag in the Raiders firing McDaniels in-season and even during the offseason, which is his contract. According to PFT, McDaniels’ buyout would be tricky for the Raiders to absorb. Las Vegas has also dealt with injuries this season, though that shouldn’t be an excuse at 2-7. QB Derek Carr has played poorly and outside of Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs, the rest of the offense has been non-existent. The defense also has major issues and drafting remains a question mark.
Ultimately, it makes sense to hold onto McDaniels through the offseason and into next season. If the Raiders can’t figure it out by 2023 and you’re falling behind in the standings, that’s when you cut ties and figure out the future plan. The issue is McDaniels never had a good track record as a head coach; his only other stint was very brief with the Denver Broncos. You’d also be looking at replacing not just McDaniels, but likely most of the coaching staff and GM Dave Ziegler, who was brought in with McDaniels from the Pats.
The season is lost. Firing McDaniels doesn’t put the Raiders in a better position moving forward. You still have your top draft picks for 2023. You’ve got Adams and the offense should get better if Carr can bounce back. You use the draft to address the defense and make some sound moves in free agency. If none of that works and it’s the same in 2023, the Raiders can move on.