HENDERSON, Nev. — Mike Mayock was fired as general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders after three turbulent seasons that produced a combined 25-24 record, the team’s first playoff appearance since 2016 (and only their second since 2002) and numerous controversies on and off the playing field.
“We have relieved Mike Mayock of his duties as general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders,” the team said in a statement Monday. “We thank Mike for his contributions over the past three years in helping to lay the foundation for the franchise to build on in its future.”
The Raiders have already begun searching for his replacement and have requested an interview with New England Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Raiders also begin a search for a new head coach. Interim coach Rich Bisaccia said Monday he was in preliminary talks with team owner Mark Davis about potentially getting the job full-time. The Raiders have also requested an interview with Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, a source told Schefter.
Mayock’s release comes two days after the Raiders were eliminated from the playoffs after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals in a wild card game.
Mayock, 63, was hired by the Raiders as GM on December 31, 2018 after spending 15 years working for NFL Network as a draft analyst and on-air analyst providing specific draft support for the team and with the then-coach Jon Gruden, who had the final say on staffing decisions.
Davis told ESPN that Gruden had a 51-49 percent advantage in the power structure when it came to decision-making. It shifted to Mayock’s advantage over Bisaccia when Gruden abruptly resigned on October 11 following his email scandal.
That season, Mayock had to navigate the team through receiver Henry Ruggs III’s car accident that killed a 23-year-old woman early in the morning of November 2 – the 2020 first-round draft pick was released by the team hours later – and the release of 2020 first-rounder Damon Arnette less than a week later, when video surfaced online of the cornerback brandishing guns and making death threats.
And while Gruden had final say on staffing, the Raiders were far more likely to miss their 23 combined picks in his and Mayock’s three drafts combined.
While 16 of those players remain on the roster, four of Las Vegas’ top five picks in the 2020 draft were gone in less than a season and a half, with Ruggs and Arnette joined by Lynn Bowden Jr. (previously traded to Miami). start of the season) and Tanner Muse, who spent his rookie season at IR and was cut before the start of the 2021 season. In fact, Mayock said going into that draft that having three picks in the third round was “like stealing,” and if the Raiders did their job right, they would have “three more starters.”
Those three picks were Bowden, receiver Bryan Edwards, who is a starter, and Muse.
A year earlier, the Raiders had three first-round picks and capitalized on defensive end Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall, running back Josh Jacobs at No. 24, and heavy safety Johnathan Abram at No. 27. Ferrell has more influence on special teams players than a consistent one contributor. Jacobs has two 1,000-yard rushing seasons and a Pro Bowl nomination on his resume, but his performance has drastically declined this season. Although Abram can be effective against the run, he’s at a disadvantage against the pass.
Last spring, the Raiders used the No. 17 for Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, who many had assigned a second-round grade to. He struggled enough with proper tackle that he was promoted to right guard in Week 5 and is the second most penalized offensive lineman in the NFL.
However, the Raiders did find starters in sub-round picks during Mayock’s tenure: cornerback Trayvon Mullen Jr. (2019 second round), defensive end Maxx Crosby (2019 fourth round), slot receiver Hunter Renfrow (2019 fifth round), left guard John Simpson ( fourth round 2020), free safety Tre’von Moehrig (second round 2021), and nickel cornerback Nate Hobbs (fifth round 2021).
Mayock’s Raiders career got off to a rocky start with the Antonio Brown episode when the GM fined him for missing practice at training camp and Brown posted the lovely letters on his social media. The Raiders later released Brown without the receiver ever playing a down for the team.