Josh McDaniels' first season with the Las Vegas Raiders has not exactly gone as planned.
After the Raiders made the playoffs last season and then brought in McDaniels and star wide receiver Davante Adams, they were talked about as a potential Super Bowl contender.
Instead, through nine games this season, they're just 2-7. Their latest loss came at home to the Indianapolis Colts, who had just fired former head coach Frank Reich and replaced him with Jeff Saturday.
That has led to calls from some around the NFL to cut bait with McDaniels midway through his first season in Las Vegas. The Raiders have declined to do so, with owner Mark Davis even giving McDaniels a vote of confidence on Monday.
The reason for that might not actually be confidence on Davis' part, but a lack of funds to make another coaching change.
A report emerged from Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke on Wednesday that the Raiders "don't have the money" to fire McDaniels and that he is locked in as the team's coach this season and next.
"Report: The reason the Raiders won't fire Josh McDaniels is financial - 'They don't have the money to fire him,'" Dov Kleiman tweeted. "The team is 'cash poor' and can't afford to fire McDaniels and then pay another coach, according to @BillPlaschke. 'He'll be the coach this year and next year.'"
The terms of McDaniels' contract with the Raiders are not publicly available.
Plaschke isn't the first person to suggest that money is the only thing keeping McDaniels in Las Vegas. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk came to a similar conclusion after Davis said Monday that McDaniels will be back in 2023.
"The buyout may be the only thing saving Josh McDaniels from becoming the New England offensive coordinator next week," ProFootballTalk tweeted.
It wouldn't come as a shock if Davis is strapped for cash. The Raiders' owner commissioned the building of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which opened as the home of the Raiders in 2020.
The Raiders also reached a settlement with Jon Gruden after Gruden stepped down midway through last season after emails surfaced showing he had used racist and homophobic slurs. The terms of the settlement were not made public, but the Raiders owed Gruden nearly $40 million from his massive, $100 million contract with the team at the time of his departure.
This isn't the first time McDaniels, the longtime offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, has struggled as a head coach. McDaniels was fired by the Denver Broncos in 2010, midway through his second season with the team, after going 11-17.
It looks like he'll get a little bit more time to turn things around in Las Vegas. The Raiders will face McDaniels' former team, the Broncos, on Sunday.
If the team's current three-game losing streak continues and Davis continues to stand by McDaniels, it would lend further credence to Plaschke's report.