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  • Tarrian Rodgers

Raiders hire former Chargers GM Tom Telesco as their new GM

Less than six weeks after the Raiders beat the Chargers 63-21 at Allegiant Stadium which caused the Los Angeles Chargers to fire their General Manager Tom Telesco and coach Brandon Staley, the Raiders made the lateral move in hiring Tom Telesco as their new general manager.

Telesco, 51, brings the experience that Raiders owner Mark Davis found greatly important in this hiring cycle. Telesco had been the Chargers' general manager since 2013 and built some great rosters that underachieved in the AFC West. Telesco drafted eight Pro Bowlers during his run with the Chargers, He drafted the likes of receiver Keenan Allen, running back Melvin Gordon III, defensive end Joey Bosa, safety Derwin James Jr., quarterback Justin Herbert, and defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu.

Telesco’s style of GM has been described as aggressive. Telesco isn’t shy when spending money in free agency. The last three seasons Telesco was aggressive in free agency and the trade market. Telesco traded for edge rusher Khalil Mack; signed All-Pro cornerback J.C. Jackson to a five-year, $82.5 million contract; and added defensive tackles Sebastian Joseph-Day and Morgan Fox. The Jackson signing backfired as he only played seven games for the Chargers and was eventually cut during the middle of the season. Telesco apologized to the team's defensive backs for signing Jackson, calling the move a "swing and a miss." 

Telesco compiled a record of 84-92 with the Chargers. Perhaps his failure as a GM was tied to his failure of accurately hiring quality head coaches. The pairing of Telesco and newly hired head coach Antonio Pierce gives Pierce an experienced sounding board to help him transition into a full-time coaching role. 

Telesco would be the fifth GM (regular and interim) to work for the Raiders since Davis assumed control of the team upon his father Al Davis' passing in 2011. Mark Davis has said the GM will have final say in personnel decisions, and Telesco would have some immediate issues to confront for a team that finished 8-9 and has been to the playoffs just twice since appearing in Super Bowl XXXVII after the 2002 season. The biggest decision will obviously be quarterback and whether they’ll retain Josh Jacobs. The Raiders will pick 13th in the NFL draft.

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