Jaguars must follow Raiders blueprint, move on from GM Trent Baalke

Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

In spite of qualifying for the 2021 NFL postseason, the Las Vegas Raiders have announced they won’t be retaining general manager Mike Mayock. The Jacksonville Jaguars should follow suit and cut ties with Trent Baalke.

The Raiders are cleaning house this offseason and starting from scratch. In the middle of the 2021 season, head coach Jon Gruden resigned after a series of emails in which he made racially insensitive comments surfaced. Rich Bisaccia took over on an interim basis and led Las Vegas to their first playoff appearance since 2016.

Bisaccia and Mayock deserve credit for keeping the Raiders afloat in a year in which wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was involved in a car accident that killed a woman and her dog and Gruden’s email were made public. Nevertheless, owner Mark Davis is cleaning house and has started searching for a new general manager. Also, it’s not a given Las Vegas will retain Bisaccia. He will interview for the head coaching opening but he will be one of many candidates that will apply for the job. Brian Flores looks like an early favorite but the Silver and Black could swing for the fences and pursue Jim Harbaugh.

Davis’ decision to give Mayock his walking papers is the right one. The former TV analyst did a good job finding talent in later rounds of the draft. Linebacker Devine Deablo, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, and cornerback Nate Hobbs are some of the players he uncovered in the selection meeting. On the other hand, Mayock had several misses in the first round, including defensive end Clelin Ferrell, cornerback Damon Arnette, and safety Jonathan Abram. Since Las Vegas will most likely have a new head coach in place, it only makes sense that they also have a new general manager.

The Jaguars also need to cut ties with general manager Trent Baalke.

While it’s uncertain how Mayock’s replacement will fare, the Raiders are doing the right thing by giving him the boot. His presence could deter potential head coaching candidates from taking the job. The Jaguars are doing the opposite and are keeping Baalke even though he could dissuade top applicants from filling in the opening left by Urban Meyer.

Baalke had a big role in the selection of cornerback Tyson Cambell, offensive lineman Walker Little and safety Andre Cisco, all of whom could become cornerstone players for the Jags. However, he doesn’t have a great reputation around the league and is seen as someone that is difficult to work with. Furthermore, his track record of drafting players late in his tenure in San Francisco 49ers was less-than-stellar, so it’s far from certain he will have the same kind of success he had with Jacksonville’s 2021 draft class.

The Jaguars haven’t officially announced that Baalke will be the general manager moving forward and if his presence becomes a roadblock to land one of the organization’s top candidates, they might have no choice but to cut ties with him.

The Jaguars’ search for a head coach is still underway. Once it’s over, Trent’s Baalke fate will be made public. Moving on from his may be in the team’s best interest but based on how things played out, staying put looks like the most likely outcome.

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