Raiders hire Tom Telesco as GM, according to sources: Why Las Vegas made the move

Raiders hire Tom Telesco as GM, according to sources: Why Las Vegas made the move

Written by Tashan Reed, Vic Tavor, and Daniel Popper

The Las Vegas Raiders are hiring former Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco to the same role, according to team and league sources.

Owner Mark Davis said last month The athlete That he was nervous about the idea of ​​pairing a first-time head coach with a first-time general manager. The last time the Raiders had this setup came when GM Reggie McKenzie hired former head coach Dennis Allen in 2012. The result was that Allen went 8-28 and was fired four games into his third season on the job.

“So, I had a rookie general manager and a rookie head coach,” Davis said. “We didn’t have a great football mind in the building to help them. That’s something I learned throughout this process.”

With that being said, Davis entered this season trying to keep his “mind open” about potential candidates. Of the six candidates he interviewed for the position of general manager, five had no previous experience in the position of general manager. But eventually, Davis got to the person who did it: Telesco.

Last week, it appeared that Davis’ choice was between interim GM Champ Kelly and Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds, according to league sources. After Antonio Pierce was named head coach last Friday, Davis is wary of pairing a head coach with a GM for the first time.

He planned to hire a general manager before hiring a head coach, but made his decision on Pierce while he was still unsure of who would lead the personnel department. Davis took the weekend to think, brought Telesco in for a second interview on Monday and hired him on Tuesday.

The Raiders appear to be prioritizing experience with this hire, and in that sense, they have found a desirable new general manager in Telesco to pair with Pierce.

Telesco has spent the past 11 seasons running the Chargers’ personnel department. That period eventually ended in December due to lack of results. Telesco has made the playoffs three times and won two postseason games, never advancing past the divisional round. However, he has proven himself as a strong talent evaluator. He drafted Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa, Derwin James, Hunter Henry, Rashon Slater, Tuli Tuipolo, and of course, Justin Herbert. He signed Austin Ekeler as an undrafted free agent. He signed Casey Hayward in free agency, and Hayward went on to become a two-time All-Pro. He traded for Khalil Mack.

He also had his flair, like Jerry Tillery and Trey McKeety in the draft and J.C. Jackson and Brian Bulaga in free agency. His flaws mostly revolved around two things: not prioritizing the offensive line and failing to build depth, especially in the later rounds of the draft. A fresh start under different ownership should be invigorating. Telesco shepherded the Chargers through a move and a franchise quarterback change, and there wasn’t much in the league he didn’t see during his 33 seasons.

Telesco is the Raiders’ fourth general manager since Davis took over as owner for his late father, Al Davis, in 2011. The franchise has been plagued by more than a decade of missteps in the draft, poor free-agent signings and failed trades. The responsibility to put an end to this now falls on his shoulders.

Kelly is still under contract. Right now, the Chargers and New England Patriots are the only teams with GM vacancies and he has not interviewed for either position. If Telesco wants Kelly on the staff and Kelly wants to stay, he could still be part of the franchise in 2024.

Required reading

(Photo: Paul Bercebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

(Tags for translation) Las Vegas Raiders

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