The Las Vegas Raiders have some momentum for the first time this season. The team has back-to-back wins over the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. While the playoffs are a long shot, winning more games down the stretch would help secure Josh McDaniels‘ job and have the team feeling good heading into next season.
That said, the Raiders beat a bad Broncos team and an inconsistent Seahawks team. It took overtime to beat both teams. It’s possible that another rough stretch is in store for the team as the competition picks up. Fans have already called for McDaniels’ job multiple times this season. Owner Mark Davis says the coach is safe but a late-season collapse and potential interest from a Super Bowl-winning coach could change that.
Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton decided to take the year off and should be the most popular coaching candidate this offseason if he decides to come back. If the Raiders wanted Payton, there could be some mutual interest. According to The Volume’s Colin Cowherd, he recently spoke to the coach and he revealed some interesting thoughts on the team’s roster.
“I was talking to Sean Payton … off the air a couple of weeks ago – he wouldn’t mind me sharing this: I said, ‘what do you make of the Raiders situation?’ He said, ‘you know, I don’t know what they’re gonna do, but that’s an interesting roster. They got their star receiver, they have a slot receiver, they’ve got a tight end, they got a star back, they have a left tackle, they have a star pass rusher.’ He said, ‘there’s a lot of interesting things there for either Josh McDaniels or whatever coach is out there.’ I think the Raiders have some options,” Cowherd said on “Colin Cowherd’s Instant Reaction.”
Payton Interviewed for Raiders Job in the Past
Had things gone a little differently years back, Payton could’ve been the Raiders’ head coach. In fact, he interviewed for the job with the late Al Davis back in 2004 when he was an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys. The interview got so in-depth that Davis decided to have food brought to them as they talked football late into the night. Payton recounted the story in his autobiography “Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life,” via NBC Bay Area.
“Al is an extremely talented football guy,” Payton wrote. “Few owners who interview can really talk about a defensive front, team travel and the salary cap. He can hit on all these topics, and this was my first interview as head coach. It was 2003, and I was going to meet Al Davis.”
Davis then decided on a bizarre food combination.
“So we’re sitting there — mind you, it’s about 11 p.m. — eating McDonald’s cheeseburgers and cole slaw from KFC.”
Payton was close to taking the job before deciding to stay in Dallas. That was likely the best career move he could’ve made as the Raiders were a mess at the time.
Raiders Will Likely Stick With McDaniels
There’s no doubt that landing a big fish like Payton would fire up the fan base. He never had double-digit losses in a season with the Saints and went to the playoffs in nine of 15 seasons. He’s one of the best and most creative offensive minds in the NFL. The fact that he finds the Raiders’ roster interesting is certainly notable.
However, Davis has already made it clear he’s not going to fire McDaniels. It would cost a pretty penny to fire him and then hire Payton. He’s going to get a massive contract at his next stop. Does Davis want to pay a coach $15+ million a year? It’s hard to imagine he would. McDaniels also deserves at least one more season to implement his system and culture before the Raiders start over again. Payton would be a great fit in Las Vegas but the team already has a head coach.