Following a month filled with a number of Raiders coaching rumors about the future of head coach Jack Del Rio, Oakland fired him shortly after their Week 17 loss to the Chargers.
Del Rio just finished his third season as Oakland's head coach with a 25-22 record, but that includes a 6-10 mark this season. The Raiders were expected to be one of the best teams in the AFC but instead were one of the biggest disappointments in the league, causing the front office to make a change at the position.
Last year, he led the Raiders to their first playoff appearance since 2002, but Oakland felt they needed to make a change. Who will they target to replace him? Here are the 10 most likely candidates:
10. David Shaw, Stanford head coach
There's a reason Shaw's name often comes up in coaching searches, but there's also a reason he ranks so low on this list. While this move would keep him in the Bay Area (at least for the next year or two), Shaw has shown zero interest in leaving Stanford. Expect to hear his name connected in the rumor mill, but don't expect him to take the job.
9. Joe DeCamillis, Jaguars special teams coach
This is a bit of a darkhorse name. The Jaguars have loved their fake punts this year and their special teams has been solid. It's a bit of a long-shot, but I could see DeCamillis riding the wave of Jacksonville's improvement and getting an interview.
8. Steve Wilks, Panthers defensive coordinator
Wilks is 48 years old and in his first year as a defensive coordinator. The Panthers defense didn't miss a beat with Sean McDermott in Buffalo this year, a credit to Wilks. He's well-regarded in the coaching world, with a background in the secondary. Due to the Rooney Rule, Wilks is a good candidate to get an interview.
7. Jim Bob Cooter, Lions offensive coordinator
Cooter came to the Lions in 2014 as the teams' quarterbacks coach before he was promoted in Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season. It was a move that saved Jim Caldwell's job at the time. Before that, he coached as an offensive assistant with the Broncos and helped guide the offense to a 2013 Super Bowl appearance. Cooter is in his ninth NFL season and after a lackluster offensive performance from the Broncos this season, he may be the new face they need calling the shots.
6. Pat Shurmur, Vikings offensive coordinator
The Vikings have been one of the surprise teams this season with a 13-3 record and have secured a playoff bye. The offense lost Teddy Bridgewater last season due to a horrific leg injury and Sam Bradford this season, but the coaching of Shurmur has reignited Case Keenum's career. Not many offensive coordinators would be able to lose two quarterbacks and still be successful, but Shurmur has found a way. Shurmur was the head coach of the Browns from 2011 to 2012 where things did not go well, but he has rehabbed his image in stints with Philadelphia and Minnesota. He also interviewed for the Raiders job before they gave it to Del Rio.
5. John DeFilippo, Eagles QBs coach
DeFilippo will generate some head coaching buzz this offseason, and while it might be one year too early for DeFilippo to get a head coach gig, many said the same thing about Sean McVay last year. DeFilippo has OC experience, although it came with the Browns. But he gets some credit for the play of Carson Wentz and in what is a down class of offensive-minded coaching options, keep an eye on DeFilippo - who was the QB coach in Oakland from 2007-08 and 2012-14.
4. Dave Toub, Chiefs special teams coordinator
Toub is one of the greatest special teams coaches in the history of the NFL. He has turned the Chiefs special teams into one of the most feared units, as he has at all of his previous stops. He is respected throughout the NFL and has a great relationship with the players and front office. At 55 years old, Toub is older than many first-time head coaches but will draw interest after having interviews last season. Oakland would also love to poach him from a division rival.
3. Matt Patricia, Patriots defensive coordinator
Entering the 2017 season, Patricia was one of the more coveted coaches. The Patriots defense struggled early on but has rebounded despite missing a few key players. The former rocket scientist has done a little bit of everything since joining the Patriots in 2004. He's served as an offensive assistant, offensive line coach, a linebackers coach, a safeties coach and took over as the defensive coordinator in 2012. The buzz around Patricia picked up last year and it should only grow. He's just 43 years old and he'll get a head coaching gig in the near future.
2. Josh McDaniels, Patriots offensive coordinator
McDaniels has rebuilt his reputation while leading the Patriots’ offense for the past five seasons after a less-than-successful head coaching debut in Denver. Its been rumored for several years that McDaniels has a strong desire to be an NFL head coach again should the right role open up. With all the weapons the Raiders have on offense, this might be the best role for McDaniels. While he's rumored to want to pair up with a GM he's familiar with (Louis Riddick or Nick Caserio), the presence of Reggie McKenzie would prevent that from happening.
1. Jon Gruden, ESPN Analyst
Ian Rapoport reports this year might be different for Gruden in terms of his interest in returning to the sidelines, as he has reached out to potential assistant coaches. He is reportedly Oakland's top target and they plan to offer him their head coaching job along with an ownership stake in the team. The Grumors will never die until Gruden becomes a head coach again.