Raiders rumors: Is it time to start worrying about Patrick Graham?

The Las Vegas Raiders defense took a big step forward in 2023, but could their defensive coordinator be on his way out?
Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders
Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Going into the 2023 NFL season, all eyes were on Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Coming over from the New York Giants, Graham was a highly-sought after coordinator candidate, and the expectation was that his arrival would bring some stability to the Raiders defense in 2022.

However, the first year of Graham's tenure as defensive coordinator did not go as planned, as the defense struggled, and second-year players like Nate Hobbs and Trevon Moehrig took a big step backward. In 2023, the Raiders tried to bolster that side of the ball by adding talent like Tyree Wilson in the draft, and linebacker Robert Spillane in free agency, but there were more than a few question marks.

Graham and the Raiders defense had some struggles early on, like their loss against Buffalo in Week 2, but they quickly got it going. In fact, towards the end of the season, the Raiders defense was one of the best in the league, and we saw numerous players step into larger roles and dominate down the stretch.

Now, with Antonio Pierce locked in as head coach, the hope is that the Raiders can get Graham to return as DC, but it won't be easy.

Raiders DC Patrick Graham gets a second interview with Seattle

Graham has been a target for numerous teams this offseason, some as a defensive coordinator, and others as a head coach. In fact, he already interviewed with the Seattle Seahawks for their vacant head coaching job, and that move is starting to gain a little more traction.

The veteran coordinator is going to have a second interview with the Seahawks, and based on what he did last season in Las Vegas, he must be a very tempting candidate for them. Graham is only 44 years old, and has been an assistant head coach in the past, so his resume certainly looks like someone who could be on the brink of landing one of these kinds of roles.

If Graham does leave Las Vegas, it would be a nightmare for Pierce and a Raiders defense that has most of their key pieces coming back in 2024. Seattle will be a tempting job, as they have a playoff-ready roster already in place, so it would not be shocking if Graham took that job.

Hopefully, Graham returns to the Raiders in 2024, but if he is able to secure a head coaching job, he rightfully deserves to take it.