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The Las Vegas Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels on Halloween last year. The Raiders named Antonio Pierce interim head coach, and Pierce promptly went out and led the team to a 30-6 victory over the New York Giants. Pierce’s 2023 tenure also included a 63-21 thrashing of the Los Angeles Chargers and a 20-14 win at the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Though the Raiders missed out on the playoffs, they looked like an improved team under Pierce (aside from a 3-0 loss to Minnesota that was an affront to football). Las Vegas finished 8-9 on the season with a 5-4 record after Pierce took over. In January, the franchise promoted him to permanent head coach.

The 2024 season hasn’t yet started, and Pierce is already facing some trouble. His wife, Jocelyn, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 12, and Pierce is listed as a guarantor of judgments worth about $28 million.

Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images

According to the filing, Antonio Pierce invested in car dealerships and defaulted on his loans. As sports law reporter Jason Morrin noted, Jocelyn didn’t sign any personal guaranty on the loans. The dealerships have come to garnish Antonio’s wages—in other words, they’re trying to collect on the debt.

Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation is holding a $23 million judgment, while Hyundai Capital America is holding a $4.5 million judgment.

Pierce’s contract details haven’t been publicly disclosed, but first time NFL coaches typically make in the $3 to $5 million range and sign for three to four seasons. Even if Pierce is on the high end of that salary, he won’t make enough with this contract to fully pay off those judgments.

The Pierces have received an extension until July 12 to take stock of their marital assets, and a status conference is scheduled for July 24. Essentially, this means they have a couple of weeks to determine what they can pay and what their various assets are worth. That’s still better than the immediacy that was facing them—filing for bankruptcy at least gives them a chance to step back and develop a plan.

The Raiders have had a lot of drama as a franchise. In recent years, former head coach Jon Gruden sent offensive emails using racist, homophobic, and mysogynistic language. Meanwhile, the team traded for Antonio Brown, who got frostbite, wanted to wear his own style of helmet, and verbally abused and physically threatened the team’s general manager—all without ever playing a game for the franchise.

Pierce has been with the Raiders for less than a year, but he’s adding a chapter to what seems to be a constantly running soap opera.

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