Mark Davis has given the greatest gift of all – the gift of time. And what do we do with our time? Speculate on who will coach the Raiders, of course.
To recap the past few weeks, we’ve learned that Davis cut off contract talks with Dennis Allen’s assistants during the season, and seems to be holding his ground a week into January. Some of Allen’s staff are looking for more stable jobs with the Raiders only offering assistants’ contracts through the 2014 season.
In other words, things are a little messy.
What’s funny about it all? Allen seems to be safe. It’s no secret that Davis has never been infatuated with Allen, so why is the focus on his assistants? And why would Davis extend the assistants for one more year if he doesn’t like them?
Could the answer to those questions be Jon Gruden?
With Gruden committed to the ESPN booth for at least one more season, is Davis holding out hope that his silver and black messiah will climb on board in 2015?
It’s bizarre to me that Davis is willing to allow “McKenzie’s guy” back for one more year, but doesn’t want to commit to Allen’s assistants beyond next year. He obviously isn’t concerned about losing the coaching staff next year (or this year for that matter), but his apparent willingness to keep Allen now could mean “his guy” won’t be available until next year.
Gruden has been linked to the Raiders for two years now, and he’s the one guy Davis is probably confident enough to hire without McKenzie’s (or anyone else’s) blessing.
One other thing. Under the assumption that Gruden is Davis’ big ticket (and there’s plenty of reason to believe he is), hiring another coach now would be a huge mistake. Ask the Browns. They just bought out Rob Chudzinski to the tune of $10.5 million after his first season. Davis won’t want to go that route.
So, for now, maybe Davis’ hands are tied, and his best option is to set the stage for next year’s breakup. If that’s his plan, he’s carrying it out well.
From the beginning, Davis has preached patience, and it feels to me like he’s patiently sticking to his plan to bring in his guy.
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