In what could either be one of the biggest stories or biggest non-stories of the year, there have been some reporters who have questioned whether or not general manager Mike Mayock could be fixing to leave the Raiders soon. There isn’t any concrete evidence that Mayock is unhappy since he doesn’t talk to the media, but there’s been plenty of speculation on the topic. It all started with these comments by Raiders reporter Vic Tafur:
“I think [Mayock] and Gruden get along OK,” The Athletic’s Tafur said on the State of the Nation podcast. “I think [the Antonio Brown situation] definitely changed some things. I’m still not 100% positive [Mayock is] back next year. He probably is. All things point that direction. But would I be shocked if he goes back to NFL Network… I would not be shocked.”
Now, Tafur never said he knows for sure that Mayock is on his way out, but he believes it’s a possibility. It seems like the fact that the general manager hasn’t spoken to the media is rubbing them the wrong way. This led to Tim Kawakami, the editor-in-chief of The Athletic Bay Area to go on the attack.
Mayock’s Media Absence a Problem?
Kawakami has been an antagonist to Raiders fans for over a decade and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. He took to Twitter to question why Mayock has been absent and didn’t address the media after the end of the season.
He then went on to fire off 50+ tweets about the subject, mainly defending himself against angry Raiders fans, who have grown to really appreciate Mayock. While it is strange that the general manager has been so quiet, there aren’t any league rules that require him to speak with the media. It seems like those duties have been mostly handled by head coach Jon Gruden.
Kawakami insinuated that Mayock is simply a “puppet” for Gruden. Everybody knows that the coach calls the final shots, but it seems like an exaggeration that Mayock has no pull. Whatever his reason is, Mayock doesn’t seem interested in talking to the media at this time. He’s going to talk at some point and should clear up any doubt.
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Rich Eisen Gives Fiery Response
One thing that many fans pointed out to Kawakami is that Mayock did an interview with his former colleague Rich Eisen back in November and he didn’t hint at any unrest. However, Kawakami discounted that interview due to the fact that Eisen works for the NFL Network, which is owned by the league.
The above comment made its way to Eisen who didn’t appear happy about what the reporter was insinuating. He issued a fiery response on The Rich Eisen Show.
Eisen clearly didn’t appreciate the insinuation that he carries water for the NFL and pointed out that his show is independent of the NFL Network. Now, Kawakami’s point isn’t totally invalid. Eisen and Mayock are clearly friends and used to work together. That it isn’t exactly a recipe for a hard-hitting interview. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with Mayock avoiding local media. It would probably be a good call for the Raiders to send Mayock out for a press conference to quash any rumors of unrest before they start to fester.