Since taking over as general manager for the Raiders back in 2019, Mike Mayock has led the Oakland/Las Vegas franchise to a 15-17 overall record — failing to make the playoffs in each of his first two seasons.
As a result of these struggles, many have called into question the working relationship between Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden. While the Raiders GM concedes that he and Gruden often hold differing opinions, he believes this back and fourth is what makes their relationship so special.
“Jon and I, it’s interesting, we’re both highly opinionated,” Mayock said during a recent appearance on The NFL Rhodes Show with Lindsay Rhodes. “We see a lot of it the same way. We both like guys that love ball. We both like tough, physical players. We value intrinsically both tangibles and intangibles. But like every coach and G.M. in the league, we’re going to disagree on some people and that’s where it gets fun. Jon challenges me, I challenge him. We do it with coaches, we do it with our scouts. The ultimate goal is to get to the right player.”
When Mayock believes in something, he’s not going to back off — and he expects Gruden to do the same.
“When there’s an appropriate time for me to make a stance, I’m going to make one,” Mayock said. “Jon Gruden is the same way. So there are times when our stances may be at odds and we can get into it. We can close the door and get into it and that’s fine. I think the cool thing is … it’s gotten to the point where it needs to be where we can find a way to get on the same page and just ask what’s best for the Raiders. I think every day we get a little better at that.”
Mayock’s early draft picks have been a huge point of contention through his first two seasons. With the No. 4 overall pick in 2019, the Raiders selected defensive end Clelin Ferrell, who’s largely been a disappointment at the position. This year, the Las Vegas franchise raised eyebrows with the shockingly-early No. 17 overall selection of offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood.
If the Raiders don’t improve significantly through the 2021 season, Mayock could be on the hot seat.