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Tom Telesco


Former Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 | 5:57 p.m.

The consensus going into the offseason was that the Raiders would likely retain interim general manager Champ Kelly while the fate of interim coach Antonio Pierce was more up in the air.

It turned out to be just the opposite. Less than a week after announcing the permanent hiring of Pierce, the Raiders revealed Tom Telesco as their new general manager via news release. 

The 51-year-old Telesco was reportedly one of five candidates interviewed by owner Mark Davis, including Kelly, but was considered a longshot behind the interim incumbent and Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds. Telesco won out in the end, however, after a decade as a divisional rival as the general manager with the Los Angeles Chargers.

He was ironically fired from that position in December following the Raiders’ record-setting 63-21 victory over the Chargers.

Telesco is regarded as one of the NFL’s top talent evaluators as he stacked several celebrated drafts during his time with the Chargers, though the returns had become underwhelming recently.

Los Angeles has only made the playoffs once in the last four years despite having found its franchise quarterback, Justin Herbert, through the 2020 draft. The failure to capitalize on Herbert’s cost-controlled rookie contract could haunt Los Angeles for years to come, though it’s reportedly likely to woo Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh back to the NFL with its current head-coaching vacancy.

Dodds, who has ties to Harbaugh, could potentially also be headed to the Chargers despite having two interviews with the Raiders. Los Angeles’ roster is a bit bloated with veterans, as many of Telesco’s recent free-agent signings have been panned as failures.

Those criticisms will follow him to Las Vegas, where he’ll have a tough task in following the well-liked Kelly. While the Raiders’ players didn’t campaign as much for Kelly as they did Pierce, the 44-year-old had been widely praised for the job he had done since taking over midseason.

His best move was claiming cornerback Jack Jones off waivers from the New England Patriots. The longtime Pierce pupil became the Raiders’ best player in coverage and a piece to build around.  

The Raiders became the first franchise in NFL history with Black leadership at general manager (Kelly), coach (Pierce) and president (Sandra Douglass Morgan) concurrently this season but the milestone appears to have been short-lived.  

Kelly could, however, potentially stay on as an assistant general manager to Telesco. The Raiders plan to introduce Telesco as their new general manager with a news conference Wednesday at their Henderson headquarters. 

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or

Article written by #LasVegasSun