Mike Mayock has received plenty of praise for his work in upgrading the Raiders roster in his first year as the team’s general manager.
Mayock, in working with head coach Jon Gruden, had a strong first draft class and group of veteran free agents in 2019, helping the team advance from 4-12 in 2018 to 7-9. Though he’d never worked in an NFL front office, the former draft analyst for NFL.com had a good first year in his new role. The Raiders stumbled late in the season, yet still almost made the playoffs.
Yet despite Mayock’s success – and the fact he seemingly has worked well with Gruden and owner Mark Davis – some speculation has surfaced that Mayock may not be thrilled in his job and could leave after one season.
Austin Boyd of Heavy.com recently wrote that not everyone views the Mayock-Gruden leadership tandem as a long-lasting duo.
Boyd cites longtime Raiders reporter Vic Tafur of The Athletic, who recently said on his State of the Nation podcast that he wouldn’t be shocked if Mayock didn’t return for this upcoming 2020 season when the team moves to Las Vegas.
Tafur cited the contentious situation with Antonio Brown in training camp and at the start of this season, when the wide receiver refused to practice, had injuries and eventually was cut loose.
Said Tafur: “I said I wouldn’t be shocked (if Mayock left), which is kind of a notch above surprised. (Mayock, Gruden and Davis) seem to be getting along fine, but the Antonio Brown incident definitely left a mark. Mayock has turned down many interview requests since then, even when the team was 6-4. And there was no postseason talk (with the media) like most teams have. I don’t know if this job is as great as he envisioned it being, even with the draft success. That’s my read.”
As Brad Weiss of Just Blog Baby noted, if Mayock were to leave, he’d be leaving when the franchise actually is well positioned. The Raiders have five of the first 100 picks in the 2020 draft, a lot of space under the salary cap and will want to make a splash in their first season in a new city.
Mayock’s departure, at this point, would definitely deserve being called a shock.