Tom Telesco appears to be sticking in the AFC West. The Las Vegas Raiders plan to hire the former Los Angeles Chargers executive as their next general manager, according to CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones. Telesco, 51, beat out finalists interim GM Champ Kelly and Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds, per Jones. This hiring comes after Telesco interviewed with the Raiders twice throughout the hiring process.
Telesco was GM of the Chargers for a decade after being hired by the team in 2013 following an ascent through the front-office ranks with the Indianapolis Colts. Over his 11-season tenure, L.A. went 84-95, hired three head coaches and had just two playoff victories. His crowning achievement was the selection of quarterback Justin Herbert in 2020. Despite identifying a franchise signal-caller, he was fired alongside head coach Brandon Staley on Dec. 10 of this season, coincidentally following a 63-21 loss to the Raiders in Week 15.
Given that Telesco’s Chargers went up against the Raiders twice a year over the last decade, he should be extremely familiar with the roster as he now crosses division rival lines. With Pierce hired as the full-time head coach and Telesco in as the GM, the duo can now focus on building toward 2024 after the Raiders went 8-9 this past season.
Telesco will be armed with a full cupboard of draft picks this spring, including the No. 13 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Priority No. 1 could arguably be finding a quarterback for the franchise after the Jimmy Garoppolo experiment fizzled midseason alongside the firing of head coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler, on top of rookie Aidan O’Connell not presenting a high ceiling.
Las Vegas currently is slated to have roughly $43.5 million in available cap space, which is the 12th most in the league. Meanwhile, running back Josh Jacobs is the club’s most notable looming free agent.