In unprecedented fashion, the Las Vegas Raiders announced late Tuesday night that they had chosen to move on from head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler.
Rumors had been flying the pair moved out west that things were contentious, with several players airing their grievances with the head coach specifically on social media during the last two seasons. It appears things worsened throughout the 2023 season, with their latest loss bringing it all to a head, resulting in their firings mid-season.
It was not unexpected news, but the timing seems significant. It also all but guarantees McDaniels will never be a head coach in the NFL again, which may be more of a good thing for everyone, including him.
So, what does this all mean for the future of McDaniels?
It's fair to assume he will quickly return to New England and be brought in by Bill Belichick in some capacity. Because Bill O'Brien is still the offensive coordinator, it wouldn't be unusual to see McDaniels given some silly title like Matt Patricia did before he took over as the play-caller last season.
He is also in a similar situation as Patricia, as the Raiders will be paying their now ex-coach through the 2025 season. This will certainly entice Belichick as he has a history of bringing back former coaches, especially ones he doesn't have to pay.
It may not be a move that happens immediately, depending on what Belichick and McDaniels want to do. However, given how poorly he has coached outside of New England and the consistent displeasure voiced by players who have worked with him, the chances of any other team outside of the Patriots wanting to hire him is slim to none.
The reunion could be ideal for all involved, even more so for Mac Jones, who has struggled since McDaniels opted to leave after his rookie season.
Although he wouldn't return as the offensive coordinator, he could take on a role that allows him to work with the quarterback or even O'Brien directly, which makes the benefits outweigh the possible concerns about re-hiring another failed head coach.