Mike Mayock barely has a year under his belt of general manager experience with the Raiders and he’s proven in his short time that he’s a fast learner. He played a large role in helping the team go from 4-12 to 7-9 in one season. Thanks to that, one would think that he should be sticking around with the Raiders for quite a while. However, not everybody thinks that’s a certainty.
Vic Tafur of The Athletic is one of the most well-connected Raiders reporters around and he made some head-turning comments in a recent mailbag and podcast. On his State of the Nation podcast, he had mentioned that he wouldn’t be shocked if Mayock didn’t return for the 2020 season. A commenter asked him about it and Tafur expanded:
I said I wouldn’t be shocked [if Mayock left], which is kind of a notch above surprised. [Mayock, owner Mark Davis and head coach Jon Gruden] seem to be getting along fine, but the Antonio Brown incident definitely left a mark. Mayock has turned down many interview requests since then, even when the team was 6-4. And there was no postseason talk like most teams have. I don’t know if this job is as great as he envisioned it being, even with the draft success. That’s my read.
Now, it must be noted that this is speculation on Tafur’s part. In no way is he saying that Mayock is going to quit, but the reporter brings up a very interesting point. It’s no secret that Mayock and Antonio Brown had a really ugly falling out. The general manager refused to let the star wide receiver walk all over him and that’s what led to Brown’s eventual dismissal. It’s not exactly an exciting way to start a new job. Whether or not some in the organization put blame on Mayock for the whole Brown debacle should be irrelevant.
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Mayock Missed on Some Moves but Drafted Excellently
Unfortunately for Mayock, his first big move after joining the Raiders was acquiring Antonio Brown in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers. At the time, Mayock looked like a genius for getting the superstar for only third and fifth-round picks. It’s easy to forget that for how the pairing ended. It’s hard to blame Mayock for making that trade and all things considered, the Raiders didn’t lose too much.
The Brown saga may be a black mark on the record for the general manager, but his excellent draft shouldn’t be discounted. The Raiders have been dreadful at drafting since their impressive 2014 class. In 2019, the team got massive contributions from almost everybody in the class. Plus, a few undrafted guys stepped up. Mayock deserves a lot of credit for that. He was a draft guru for many years and it’s clear he knows what he’s doing.
Raiders Can’t Let Mayock Leave
If Mayock can put together one of the most impressive draft classes in recent memory in his first year, imagine his potential once he gains more experience. As the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins just proved, it’s incredibly difficult to find a good general manager. It seems like the Raiders found one and can’t give that up.
If Mayock is unhappy in any way, which there isn’t any real indication that’s the case, they need to give him what he wants to be happy. The Raiders are finally on the right trajectory and switching up the general manager positions could mess everything up. The team should hope that Tafur is dead wrong and Mayock is planning to stick around for many years to come.
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