The Las Vegas Raiders have started the season 1-3 and their fans are so fed up, they've taken to confronting team owner Mark Davis during games.
Davis was in attendance for the Raiders' 24-17 loss against the Chargers in Los Angeles, watching from his open-air, suite-level seats at SoFi Stadium. Fans of his team found him during the game and loudly voiced their displeasure about Las Vegas' performance especially as it related to second-year head coach Josh McDaniels in a video posted to TikTok.
"Fire him! Fire him!" shouted the fans in the video from TikTok user @mrruba_hp.
"Smarten up! Use your head!" Davis shouted back.
Las Vegas Raiders Owner Mark Davis yelling at fans to "smarten up" after they said to fire HC Josh McDaniels 😂 pic.twitter.com/XSRxu2fH5V
— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) October 3, 2023
Josh McDaniels' Raiders tenure
Las Vegas hired Josh McDaniels, the Patriots' former offensive coordinator, to be their head coach ahead of the 2022 season. In his first season, the Raiders began the year 2-7 before finishing 4-4 down the stretch to end McDaniels' first year at 6-11. This year, with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo taking over under center, the team is off to a 1-3 start with their only win coming against a bad Broncos team, moving their head coach's record down to 7-14.
McDaniels isn't without a fair share of the blame for the team's poor performance over his first two seasons thus far. In 2022, the Raiders blew 17-point leads in three different games, displaying a nearly unbelievable inability to close out games while holding the lead. Last year, Las Vegas also was the only team to lose a game to the Jeff Saturday-led Colts as the former center made his head coaching debut in the wake of Frank Reich's firing.
In 2023, McDaniels has already made one of the most questionable coaching decisions of any team this season. On Sunday Night Football in Week 3, the Raiders were losing to the Steelers, 23-15, late in the fourth quarter. With two and a half minutes remaining, Las Vegas faced a 4th & 4 play on Pittsburgh's 8-yard line. Rather than continuing the drive to attempt a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the game late, McDaniels opted to send Daniel Carlson out to kick a 26-yard field goal. The Steelers remained in the lead and the Raiders still needed a touchdown to overcome their now five-point deficit.
Las Vegas lost the game, 23-18.
Josh McDaniels contract and hot seat status
With the team struggling so heavily under McDaniels, it's fair to wonder whether he's truly on the hot seat, as the fans in the TikTok video would hope. The answer is not clear.
According to Sportico, the head coach's four-year contract with the Raiders pays him an annual salary of $10 million.
While McDaniels' Raiders struggled in 2022, Davis still expressed his support for the first-year head coach and his team.
Then a report came out from Los Angeles Times writer Bill Plaschke that suggested the team owner did not have enough money to fire McDaniels and eat the cost of the contract.
On top of the money they owe their current head coach, Las Vegas is still paying his predecessor, Jon Gruden. Gruden resigned from the position in 2021 after emails he sent featuring racist, misogynistic and homophobic remarks leaked. The team still owed him $40 million when he left the organization, but Davis said they had reached a settlement with Gruden on that owed money. The terms of the settlement remain undisclosed.
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Mark Davis's net worth
With tens of millions of dollars committed to the Raiders' last two head coaches, along with the money required to pay the salary of the rest of the coaching staff and 53 players on the roster, it's possible that Davis really can't fire McDaniels.
Forbes has Davis' net worth listed at $2.3 billion, which places him in the bottom half of all NFL owners by net worth.
The Raiders will host the Green Bay Packers in their next game on Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. ET on Oct. 9 on ESPN.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Las Vegas Raiders: Mark Davis, Josh McDaniels catch heat from fans