One of the joyous things about the NFL offseason is the inherent optimism it brings. The last season is behind you. The team has been given a chance to address concerns, draft players to fix problems, maybe starting anew or get that window open every so slightly more. Nobody’s hurt yet. It is a time to dream. Even for hopeless pessimists like myself, who has spent much of the past few months deeply concerned 2022 was a fluke success and that things are going to be much rougher than I want them to be, still feels hope at all the new acquisitions and moves the team has made. But it’s not always roses. If I was a Raiders fan these days, things would feel kinda bleak.

Handsome Jimmy has a busted ankle and the Raiders might have to move on from their QB solution before he even takes a snap. But let’s rewind. A ways back, really. To 2021. Jon Gruden gets fired suddenly after old racist emails leak. High draft pick Henry Ruggs kills someone drunk driving. A couple of other players also get arrested. Despite the turmoil, interim HC Rich Bisaccia keeps the team competitive in a rising AFC West and leads them to the playoffs. The team looks flawed but it’s got something. That’s when they make the mistake. In deciding to purge the team of the troubled previous regime, they clean house. I personally think Bisaccia should have gotten a shot, but alas, I get it. Unfortunately, they clean the house with Josh McDaniels.

At the time it was a resounding meh. The news hit the NFL world with an outstanding whatever. McDaniels was a 1.2x time head coaching failure. He flamed out in Denver, and then ghosted Indianapolis when Belichick hung outside his window with a boombox playing love songs. McDaniels played the combo card of NFL short-term memory and riding the coattails of successful people into a 3rd chance at a coaching job. Was there reason for optimism? I guess. They traded for Davante Adams. It had been long enough for most of us to forget how awful he was in Denver. Plus, as much as we hate to say it, sometimes people learn and work out when they get another chance.

It did not start well. The Raiders became known in the first half of the year for absolutely blowing it. Most notably against another team that turned into a flaming pile of garbage and might have an even worse outlook: the Cardinals. The team floundered about all year and their most notable win was after the Patriots made an all-timer of a blunder. After what appeared to be visible differences between coach and QB Derek Carr seemed to have been mentally shattered. Davante Adams shoved a guy. Carr especially was a sad tale all year. A fan favorite for just how much he just loved being a Raider, he was clearly moving on by the end of the year despite the Raiders not seeming to have a real post-Carr plan. This offseason they shipped longtime star Darren Waller to the Giants. Davante Adams made a few comments that have a lot of people speculating on how happy he is. There have also been mild rumblings about Hunter Renfrow not being long for the team.

Some of this is probably just offseason speculation bullshit, but this week we got confirmation that offseason bullshit isn’t always bullshit. When Jimmy G got announced the announcement felt kind of…off for some people, and we found out why. Jimmy failed his physical. The Raiders re-wrote his contract to get off scott free if he can’t play for them. Of course, this doesn’t make the Raiders look smart. The one thing I can’t get out of my head looking at the Carr-McDaniels situation is Jay Cutler.

For you youngins, Jay Cutler was a Bronco once. He was a young fresh upstart with a lot of attitudes and a rocket arm. He liked getting in verbal spats with Philip Rivers. He cared. Then Josh McDaniels got hired and the two beefed immediately. The franchise guy was traded to the Bears and now the Broncos entered the season with…Kyle Orton. The situation only got worse after a brief hot start. McDaniels failed miserably, and his tenure was filled with stories about how he was just another failed control freak Belichick lackey. Jay Cutler was an asshole but we now have two situations where Josh McDaniels has come into a team and essentially run the franchise guy out of town.

McDaniels replaced Carr (a mediocre to good QB) with Jimmy, who is like Derek Carr but with his durability and handsomeness stats swapped. McDaniels also brought in longtime McDaniels backup stooge Brian Hoyer and they traded for another former Patriot, Jakobi Meyers. It’s hard not to feel like McDaniels is just doing it all over again and the Raiders are just going to slowly sink into the muck in a division with the dynasty Chiefs, the always-threatening Chargers, and the “could potentially right the ship if Hackett was the issue” Broncos.  It doesn’t feel very good. If the season tanks, do they ditch McDaniels and start over? Does he do something even worse and win just enough games to hold onto a job that everyone but Mark Davis can see he doesn’t deserve?

After the Raiders made the playoffs with Bisaccia I think there were a lot of reasons to hope. I’m not seeing very many now. Fire Josh McDaniels.

Jimmy is still so fucking hot though