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

Dashan Reed, Vic Duffer and Daniel Popper

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

Last month, owner Mark Davis said Athletic He was nervous about the idea of ​​pairing a first-time head coach with a first-time general manager. The Raiders last had that organization in 2012 when former GM Reggie McKenzie hired former head coach Dennis Allen. Allen went 8-28 as a result and was out four games into his third season.

“So, I had a new GM and a new head coach,” Davis said. “We don't have a big football mind in the building to help them. That's something I've learned throughout the process.

That being said, Davis entered this season trying to keep his “open mind” about potential candidates. Of the six candidates he interviewed for the GM job, five of them had no previous GM experience. In the end, however, Davis landed on the one who did: Telesco.

As of last week, league sources said the choice for Davis was between interim GM Champ Kelly and Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds. After hiring Antonio Pierce as head coach last Friday, Davis was wary of pairing a first-time head coach with a first-time GM.

He had planned to hire a GM before hiring a head coach, but he made up his mind about Pierce while still undecided on who would lead the personnel department. Davis pondered over the weekend, bringing Telesco in for a second interview on Monday and hiring him on Tuesday.

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The Raiders seem to prioritize experience in this hire, and in that sense, they found a desirable new general manager to pair with Pearce in Telesco.

Telesco ran the Chargers personnel department for the past 11 seasons. That position eventually ended in December due to a lack of results. Telesco made the playoffs three times and won two postseason games, never advancing to the divisional round. However, he proved himself to be a solid talent evaluator. He produced Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa, Derwin James, Hunter Henry, Rashaan Slater, Thuli Tuipulodu and, of course, Justin Herbert. He signed Austin Egeler as an undrafted free agent. He signed Casey Hayward in free agency, and Hayward became a two-time All-Pro. He traded for Khalil Mack.

Jerry Tillery and Trey McGeety in the draft and J.C. in free agency. He also had his whiffs like Jackson and Brian Bulaga. His shortcomings largely revolved around two things: not prioritizing the offensive line and failing to develop depth, especially in the later rounds of the draft. A fresh start under different ownership should be revitalized. Delesco has shepherded the Chargers through transfer and franchise quarterback change, and there's not much the league hasn't seen in his 33 seasons.

Telesco is the fourth GM of the Raiders 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 draft missteps, poor free-agent signings and botched trades. The responsibility to put an end to it now falls on his shoulders.

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

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

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