Firing Josh McDaniels might have been a popular move for the Las Vegas Raiders, and the expected move, but it was by no means a cheap move.
The cost of dismissing McDaniels, general manager Dave Ziegler and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi will come out to approximately $85 million for Raiders team owner Mark Davis, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The team reportedly has additional bills coming because it must now rework the contracts of interim head coach Antonio Pierce and interim GM Champ Kelly, to say nothing of the money it will have to give to McDaniels' long-term replacement.
The Raiders announced Wednesday they were relieving McDaniels and Ziegler of their duties a season and a half into both of their tenures in Las Vegas. The majority of the money owed will come from the six-year contract the Raiders gave McDaniels when they hired him.
Of course, while $85 million sounds like an unconscionable amount of money to pay a group of people to not work for you, the costlier move for the $6.2 billion franchise might have been to keep McDaniels and company. The team's dysfunction on and off the field was already turning into a sideshow in the NFL, which wouldn't have helped ticket and sponsorship sales for the rest of the season, or next year. Paying eight figures to Josh McDaniels might sound like a lot, but it might be worth far more to no longer be associated with Josh McDaniels.
The apparent happiness of the Raiders' players alone says a lot about what McDaniels was doing to the franchise.
Meanwhile, the team will move ahead with Pierce and a new starter at quarterback after benching Jimmy Garoppolo. Fourth-round rookie Aidan O'Connell was named the starter for the rest of the season earlier this week and will get his next test Sunday against the New York Giants.