3 Dave Ziegler mistakes Raiders still have to undo

Head coach Josh McDaniels wasn't the only Raiders' firing last week. GM Dave Ziegler was also let go and there are at least mistakes the Raiders wish he could take with him.

Aug 26, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler
Aug 26, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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1. No 'Real' Plan at Quarterback

When Dave Ziegler was hired, Derek Carr had just finished a 2021 season where he had career-highs in passing yards (4,804) and interceptions (14). They then gave him a three-year extension worth $121.5 million. And less than a year later, they cut Carr.

For most franchises and GMs, this would mean it was time to build through the draft and find the next franchise quarterback. Las Vegas had the seventh overall pick in the 2023 draft and had inquired about moving up to the first overall pick before the Panthers made the move.

Instead, Las Vegas chose to go with another expensive, middle-of-the-road option -- one who had experience with McDaniels in New England. And that was Jimmy Garoppolo. Now, that "era" appears to be over as well after the news that the team will be going with rookie Aidan O'Connell for the rest of the season.

Unless O'Connell really wows us in the last nine games of the year, it would be pretty lackluster for the team to not go into the 2024 draft with a quarterback in mind. While they probably won't pick high enough for either of the draft's top signal-callers, this class offers a lot of late-first-round and second-round talent at the position.

If they wanted to toe the line between conservative and sound, a quarterback battle between a second-round rookie and O'Connell is more of a "real" plan than the team has had the last two years.

The through-line of Ziegler's mistakes with the Raiders is investing a lot of money in an offense that wasn't ready to be invested in. A good way to turn that around is cut losses on some of the high-profile moves, and turn the attention to next April's draft.

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