ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have a vacancy in their personnel department. General manager Reggie McKenzie was let go Monday, though his replacement won’t share the same title.
The Raiders issued a statement saying they’d search for a “new front office executive” starting immediately, a search that coach Jon Gruden says owner Mark Davis will conduct.
Gruden said he wasn’t sure if he’d be involved in the interview process, but he’s expected to have influence in this important hire.
Gruden wants someone McKenzie-esque to fill that role.
“(We’re looking for) similar qualities,” Gruden said. “We’d like a guy who works hard and loves football and this organization, who will scratch and claw and fight with the rest of us. It all starts there, in addition to the expertise in personnel. Great leadership skills, a great number of things go into this job. It’s a tough position in this league.”
Gruden said Davis will compile a list, and the two will discuss those options later this week.
[RELATED: Why Gruden-McKenzie pairing was doomed to fail]
It’s too early in the process to have a solid grasp on the leading candidates, but a few names from Gruden’s past (and present) could be options for the Raiders. A few new ones could emerge in time, but let’s look at a few Gruden connections who might fit well here with the Silver and Black.
NFL Network mentioned Dominik’s name as a possible front office addition. He was Tampa Bay’s director of pro personnel when Gruden was coaching the Buccaneers, and Dominik became GM after Gruden was fired following the 2008 season.
Dominik has the personnel chops to lead a scouting department, though he has been out of the NFL in recent years doing media work.
Allen and Gruden worked together in Oakland and Tampa Bay, and a third partnership could help get the Raiders organized and execute Gruden’s vision for the team.
Allen is adept at working with the salary cap, and he potentially could figure out how to get Gruden’s guys in the building. One major question: Will he have enough personnel clout to fight back against Gruden while making important decisions? That’s a quality that would help the organization make the right calls.
It seems uncertain -- maybe unlikely -- that their pairing would come together for a third time.
The highly respected ESPN analyst has been a top candidate for front-office jobs before, and he has an extensive résumé in personnel and scouting. Riddick and Gruden were simultaneously employed by the national sports network, and Riddick played for Gruden with the Raiders in 1998.
Riddick is a younger influence who could grow within the job and work his way to a GM post with full control at some point down the line.
Lombardi has become a popular football analyst in recent seasons, but he worked with Gruden and Al Davis as a personnel executive starting in 1998. He also worked with Bill Belichick in New England, while the Patriots were winning Super Bowls.
He has plenty of experience and has worked with Gruden. Will that make a match back in Alameda?
Gruden had some nice things to say about the Raiders' director of college scouting. He’ll act as interim GM during this executive search and play an integral role in guiding the Raiders through the 2019 draft.