With the New York Giants, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings all having filled their vacant general manager positions, only one such position remains open. The Las Vegas Raiders have yet to find Mike Mayock’s successor, despite conducting multiple interviews.
One of those was with New England Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler. In fact, Ziegler was seen as a frontrunner for the position, and Las Vegas hiring him would have had a trickle-down effect on the Patriots.
The Raiders, after all, have also not named a new head coach either. While they did interview multiple candidates, including New England inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, the belief was that they might eventually team up Ziegler with a long-time companion of his they have not yet spoken to: Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
According to a new report by The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the Ziegler-McDaniels pairing appeared to have some momentum earlier during the week. However, something appears to have changed:
There was a strong buzz Tuesday morning around a Patriots duo of Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels coming to Las Vegas as the Raiders’ new general manager and head coach. But 24 hours later, that seems to have been quickly muted.
What exactly led to the Raiders apparently reversing course? That is up for speculation, and might have something to do with Ziegler’s interview performance relative to other general manager candidates. While it reportedly went “well,” Las Vegas’ decision makers did meet with seven other men as well.
Besides Ziegler, the Raiders also spoke with outside options Ed Dodds (Indianapolis), John Spytek (Tampa Bay), Brandon Hunt (Pittsburgh), Trey Brown (Cincinnati), Champ Kelly (Chicago), Ruston Webster (Falcons). They also interviewed their own director of pro scouting, Dwayne Joseph.
Of course, the fact that no interview with Josh McDaniels has yet been requested cannot be disregarded as well. There is also a chance, for example, that McDaniels simply let it known that he would not be available even if given a chance to join the Raiders alongside Ziegler.
According to Tafur’s report, however, it seems he might have some interest:
McDaniels apparently had been calling coaches around the league about putting together a staff, but it appears something happened in the last 24 hours. League sources don’t know if the issue was about compensation or the power structure in Las Vegas or both, but it seems Ziegler and McDaniels are not the leaders in the clubhouse anymore.
Ultimately, the Patriots remain in a wait-and-see position as of Thursday morning. With no interview requested for McDaniels yet, and multiple non-Ziegler candidates in play for Las Vegas’ general manager gig, every outcome is still on the table — regardless of their frontrunner position or not.