Report: Josh McDaniels, Raiders Finalizing Contract to Replace Jon Gruden as HC

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 30, 2022

Houston, TX - October 10: During the last New England drive of the game, quarterback Mac Jones (left) came to the sidelines to confer with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (right).  The New England Patriots visited the Houston Texans for a regular season NFL football game at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX on Oct. 10, 2021. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders are reportedly expected to hire New England Patriots offensive coordinator as the team's next head coach, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Raiders?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Raiders</a> are expected to hire <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Patriots?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Patriots</a> de facto GM Dave Ziegler as their new GM, per, <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeGarafolo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MikeGarafolo</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/TomPelissero?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TomPelissero</a>. He was key in New England’s fast turnaround, now turns his attention to Las Vegas. The next step is slated to be the hire of Josh McDaniels as head coach.

The 45-year-old has had a fascinating career trajectory, to say the least. After climbing the coaching ladder with the Patriots between 2001 and 2008, spending three of those seasons as the offensive coordinator, he took a head coaching position with the Denver Broncos ahead of the 2009 season.

His tenure lasted less than two seasons, though, as the Broncos went just 11-17 and famously drafted Tim Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.

McDaniels then went to the St. Louis Rams for a season in 2011 as the offensive coordinator before returning to New England in that same role in 2012, where he's been since.

It appeared he would be taking the head coaching job in Indianapolis ahead of the 2018 season, with the Colts even publicly announcing the hire. But McDaniels shocked the NFL world when he backed out of the deal at the 11th hour, instead deciding to stay with the Patriots.

The move was controversial enough that his agent, Bob LaMonte, dropped him as a client after he snubbed the Colts.

It was thought at the time that New England perhaps granted him non-official assurances he would succeed Bill Belichick once the legendary head coach decided to retire, or at least would get first consideration for the job.

If that was the case, though, McDaniels either felt he got an offer from the Raiders he couldn't refuse or didn't want to wait for Belichick to call it quits, perhaps suggesting the veteran head coach isn't going anywhere soon.

Working with Belichick and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady certainly played an enormous factor in his success, but McDaniels remains on the cutting edge of offensive football.

McDaniels did interview with the Green Bay Packers before the 2019 season, but it appeared he was only interested in leaving New England for the perfect job. That didn't materialize.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

This was the only known interview for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Patriots?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Patriots</a> OC Josh McDaniels, so the LaFleur hire for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Packers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Packers</a> likely means Josh is back in New England for another year.

He was also reportedly a finalist for the Philadelphia Eagles head-coaching vacancy ahead of the 2021 season before the team hired Nick Sirianni.

His snub of the Colts may have left a poor taste in the mouths of many people, but his impending hire nonetheless is a solid move for Las Vegas.

And you have to hand it to the Raiders—they take big swings. 

McDaniels will have the tough task of replacing Rich Bisaccia, who became a popular figure in the Las Vegas locker room after Jon Gruden was fired when misogynistic, racist and anti-gay emails from his past were leaked publicly.

But under Bisaccia, the Raiders still rallied and reached the postseason. McDaniels will inherit a solid veteran quarterback in Derek Carr and some nice weapons on the offensive side of the ball. He'll have a better foundation in place for his second tenure as an NFL head coach than he had in the first one.