The Las Vegas Raiders are going to have some big decisions this offseason. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia has done an admirable job but it’s hard to know for sure if he’s the right person for the job going forward. It doesn’t help his chances that some big names have linked to the opening at the end of the season.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh appears to be the popular choice right now as he considers jumping back to the NFL. However, the job could be appealing to a wide range of candidates. According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the Raiders could even explore a trade for a couple of Super Bowl-winning coaches.
“I think the Raiders would love to go and still perhaps get a rock star,” Glazer said, via Pro Football Talk. “Maybe even look to trade for somebody. A Mike Tomlin or Sean Payton. Something along those lines.”
Trading for a coach isn’t common but it’s happened. The Raiders traded Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two decades ago. It would be fascinating if they got involved with a trade for a coach again.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Would Payton or Tomlin Leave Their Teams?
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and New Orleans Saints Sean Payton are two of the most successful in the NFL. They both have Super Bowls and hardly ever have losing seasons. Tomlin has never had a losing season in 15 years while Payton has never won less than seven games in a season. Either coach would be a homerun hire for Las Vegas.
However, there’s little to believe they’d want to leave their current situations. Yes, both the Steelers and Saints have major questions at quarterback but once they solve that, they’ll be back in Super Bowl contention. Aaron Rodgers could end up in Pittsburgh and Russell Wilson could end up in New Orleans. That would immediately make both teams Super Bowl favorites. Derek Carr is very good but the Raiders still have a lot to figure out with the rest of the roster. It’s an appealing job for a lot of coaches but may not be appealing to Tomlin and Payton.
Harbaugh Appears to Be the Favorite for Raiders Job
If there’s even the slightest possibility that Payton or Tomlin is available, owner Mark Davis should pursue them aggressively. Since that’s unlikely, Harbaugh appears to be the most likely choice if Bisaccia doesn’t keep the job. There’s been a lot of chatter recently about the Michigan coach coming back to the Raiders and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting that people around the NFL think it could happen.
“For now, buzz is building in league circles that team owner Mark Davis wants, and will get, the former 49ers and current Michigan coach,” Florio wrote. “The man who took a 6-10 team to the NFC Championship in his first year and who nearly won a Super Bowl in his second. The man who went 44-19-1 in four seasons as an NFL head coach.”
Harbaugh may be the best available coach outside of Tomlin or Payton. He had a ton of success in San Francisco. The Raiders could certainly do a lot worse.