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Las Vegas Raiders reportedly could poach general manager, coach from New England Patriots

Matt Johnson
Las Vegas Raiders
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders search for a new head coach and general manager is underway with top NFL candidates coming in for interviews. While the organization isn’t close to a decision, one executive and prominent coach are very much in the mix as part of a package deal.

Las Vegas is interviewing New England Patriots defensive coordinator Jerod Mayo this week, the latest in an extensive list of candidates. The Raiders haven’t even met with Jim Harbaugh, who is interested in the job and many viewed as the favorite.

But Las Vegas could take this in an entirely different direction. Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is widely reported as one of owner Mark Davis’ top targets and there’s a chance he wouldn’t be the only one coming from New England.

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NBC Sports’ Peter King wrote Monday he believes McDaniels and Patriots’ director of player personnel Dave Ziegler are in real contention to join the Raiders. While it’s not a guarantee, the NFL insider said a GM-coach package deal is in play.

From the Patriots’ perspective, losing both would be a serious blow. Not only would Bill Belichick lose two of the best minds in the building, but others could follow. McDaniels could offer Mayo a chance to call defensive plays, a responsibility belonging to Steve Belichick in New England. Similarly, Ziegler could offer promotions to Patriots’ scouts who he trusts and respects.

As for the Raiders, there are risks to hiring two Patriots’ staffers. The Detroit Lions attempted this with general manager Bob Quinn (who worked with Patriots from 2000-’15) and head coach Matt Patricia (Patriots’ defensive coordinator from 2012-’17) and it backfired. The Belichick coaching tree hasn’t been especially fruitful for NFL teams.

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But both McDaniels and Ziegler are widely respected around the NFL, receiving interviews for general manager and coaching vacancies every offseason. Trust and communication are also integral for a strong relationship between a general manager and coach, which all bodes well for McDaniels and Ziegler.

Ultimately, this all could end in Harbaugh landing the job and essentially serving both roles. But if the Las Vegas Raiders are exploring alternatives, a Ziegler-McDaniels hire could prove rewarding.