Tom Telesco

Raiders Split On Moving Up For QB?

Antonio Pierce has spoken openly about his interest in acquiring a long-term QB option this offseason. New GM Tom Telesco had franchise QBs at the helm in each of his 11 years running the Chargers. This would point the Raiders to doing what they need to in order to acquire one of this draft’s starter-caliber arms.

But the team holds the No. 13 overall pick. With the Vikings acquiring another first-rounder from the Texans, they hold Nos. 11 and 23. The Broncos lack a second-round pick, but they do possess No. 12 overall, their first Round 1 draft slot in three years. It could be difficult for the Raiders to climb high enough to outflank the Vikings, as the Bears, Commanders and Patriots more likely than not to select a passer in the top three.

It also may not be a given all the key parties in the Las Vegas building want to put together a big trade package to draft a QB. Pierce is on board with doing so, per’s Tony Pauline, but Telesco is “leaning heavily” toward sticking with Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell. Controlling the Raiders’ roster, Telesco has the final call. Though Pierce should be expected to wield notable power ahead of his first draft as HC, Telesco has obviously run 11 drafts to his zero.

The Raiders have been closely tied to Jayden Daniels, who arrived at Arizona State when Pierce was on the Sun Devils’ staff. Daniels has remained close with Pierce, going so far as to be in the Raiders’ locker room after their Week 18 win over the Broncos. While a recent report indicated Las Vegas wants to trade up for Daniels — a player they mentioned during their OC search — the Commanders and Patriots stand as clear obstacles in that path. The Raiders believed to have been making an effort to move up, and a report coming out of the Combine confirmed Vegas had made inquiries about climbing from 13. Understandably, a Daniels visit is on the Raiders’ docket.

Mark Davis has OK’d a move up the board, though it could cost two future first-rounders to make that jump. The Commanders choosing Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy at 2 could make matters quite interesting in Nevada, given the stream of connections to Daniels. That would put the Patriots to a decision, should the Raiders make a monster offer to vault to No. 3. The Pats are likely open to moving down, but the buzz as of now points to New England drafting a QB at 3. Moving back to 13 would effectively lock the Pats out of the Daniels-Maye-McCarthy tier.

The Raiders could stick at 13 and have a chance at Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr., though Broncos-Nix connections have come out during the draft run-up. If the Raiders pivot to a non-quarterback call at 13,’s Jordan Reid indicates a cornerback-or-tackle decision may be on tap. While cornerback remains a need, especially after Amik Robertson‘s defection to Detroit, a Las Vegas tackle move should be considered on the radar, Reid writes.

The Raiders have Kolton Miller entrenched on the left side, but two-year RT starter Jermaine Eluemunor left for the Giants. Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock draft sends Penix to Vegas, while Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest offering gives them Oregon State tackle Taliese Fuaga.

Of course, a tackle-or-CB move would only raise the stakes for the Raiders in 2025, as a Minshew-centered roster would not present a high ceiling for the 2024 team. In a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, that would not qualify as an exciting plan. But Minshew signed a two-year, $25MM deal. He does give the Raiders a fallback option if they opt against leaving Round 1 with a passer. Of course, if Pierce wants a QB and Telesco does not view it as realistic, this draft would not exactly start this partnership off on the right foot.

Raiders Will “Attempt” To Re-Sign RB Josh Jacobs

None of the big-name, impending-free-agent running backs are expected to be franchise tagged, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that teams are closing the door on retaining their offensive focal points. This includes the Raiders, who will attempt to re-sign free agent RB Josh Jacobs, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

[RELATED: Raiders Remain Interested In Re-Signing RB Josh Jacobs]

There have been previous rumblings that the Raiders could look to retain the star running back, but only on their terms. The team had no interest in franchising Jacobs for a second-straight season, a move that would have locked the RB into a $14.14MM salary. That commitment would have placed Jacobs third at his position in average annual value (behind Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara) and would have marked a nearly $2.5MM increase on his 2023 cap hit.

Considering the deep free agency class at the position and the anticipated squeeze that some free agent RBs will surely face, it should be a relief for Jacobs that the Raiders are somewhat valuing continuity. The running back has spent his entire career with the organization, including a 2022 campaign where he finished with a league-high 2,053 yards from scrimmage to go along with 12 touchdowns. That performance followed the Raiders’ decision to not pick up his fifth-year option, making Jacobs an impending free agent last offseason.

The organization never let their star hit free agency, slapping him with the franchise tag instead. The two sides couldn’t agree to a long-term extension but ultimately reworked the 2023 contract to avoid a holdout. While Jacobs couldn’t match his 2022 production, he still compiled 1,101 yards from scrimmage before missing the final four games of the season.

This time around, Jacobs will be facing a different regime in Las Vegas, although that might not end up working out in his favor. As our own Adam La Rose recently pointed out, new Raiders GM Tom Telesco was running the Chargers front office when the organization allowed Austin Ekeler to pursue a trade in lieu of an extension. The standoff between running backs and front offices will certainly be one of the major story lines of the offseason, and Jacobs will be a central figure in the conversation.

If Jacobs doesn’t return to Las Vegas, the Raiders could pivot to Zamir White. The former fourth-round pick had a chance to start at the end of this past season, averaging more than 114 yards from scrimmage in his four games as the lead back.

Raiders Targeting Jayden Daniels?

The Raiders will be eyeing quarterback prospects in the upcoming draft, but they might not wait for a signal-caller to fall to No. 13. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Raiders could be a trade suitors for a top-three pick.

Fowler notes that head coach Antonio Pierce is a “big fan” of Jayden Daniels, but the organization would surely have to trade for the LSU quarterback. Pierce and Daniels crossed paths during their stints at Arizona State, and that familiarity makes the Raiders a natural landing spot for the prospect.

Further, Fowler notes that Pierce was evaluating offensive coordinator candidates with “the loose possibility of Daniels in mind.” The team’s first choice for OC, Kliff Kingsbury, most recently worked with the draft’s top QB prospect, USC’s Caleb Williams. When Kingsbury declined the Raiders offer and opted for the Commanders’ job, the Raiders pivoted to Luke Getsy.

Fowler assumes that the Bears will take Williams with the first-overall pick, meaning the Raiders will likely have to trade with the Commanders (No. 2) or the Patriots (No. 3) if they want to add Daniels or UNC’s Drake Maye. New GM Tom Telesco was known for his drafting prowess during his years with the Chargers, although his strategy usually didn’t feature home-run, draft-day trades.

With that in mind, it’s notable that the team recently met with Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. at the Senior Bowl, per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Penix is hoping to emerge as the fourth QB on the draft board (following Williams, Daniels, and Maye), although he’s not consistently projected for the first round.

Regardless of how things unfold during the draft, it’s likely that the Raiders will be eyeing a new signal-caller in 2024. Jimmy Garoppolo barely played once Pierce was named the interim head coach, and the veteran will likely be a trade/cut candidate. And while rookie Aidan O’Connell was a standout during the final chunk of the season, it sounds like the Raiders envision him as more of a backup. If the Raiders strike out in the draft, the team could turn to the likes of Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, and Jameis Winston via free agency.

Tom Telesco To Control Raiders’ Roster; Team Wants Champ Kelly Back

Mark Davis‘ two recent regimes featured head coach-centric operations, with Josh McDaniels and Jon Gruden the much higher-profile figures compared to their respective GMs. Although Mark Davis made a point to say Dave Ziegler controlled the Raiders’ 53-man roster, comparisons to Mike Mayock‘s shotgun role alongside Gruden also emerged after the Patriot Way model combusted.

In pairing Tom Telesco with Antonio Pierce, the Raiders have an experienced GM and an unseasoned head coach. Davis confirmed (via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez) Telesco will control the roster, but the longtime Chargers front office boss said he and Pierce will work collaboratively.

It’s a partnership,” Telesco said, via The Athletic’s Tashan Reed. “As far as building the roster, you’re working through the vision of the head coach. How does he want to play on offense? How does he want to play on defense? How does he want to play on special teams? And you build it that way. … We’re going to be able to bounce ideas off each other.”

Telesco will become the rare GM to receive an immediate second chance. Although Trent Baalke is in place as the Jaguars’ front office leader, four years passed between Baalke’s San Francisco ouster and his elevation to this role. Baalke and Telesco are the league’s only current GM retreads, with the rest of the league using first-timers or having a setup in which the owner is the team’s de facto GM. Telesco, 51, lasted 11 years as Chargers GM but only oversaw three playoff teams.

Pierce and Telesco did not have any connection prior to this partnership, though the two joked about the 63-21 December result that ultimately led the latter to Las Vegas. The team preferred Teleseco’s experience to finalists Champ Kelly and Ed Dodds and liked the Chargers’ roster makeup, according to’s Albert Breer. Telesco’s knowledge of the AFC West also worked in his favor.

It is true Teleseco built well-regarded Bolts rosters for most of his tenure, though they regularly fell short of expectations. The ex-Colts exec also inherited Philip Rivers in his prime and had Justin Herbert waiting for him when the Dolphins chose Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall in 2020. This Raiders effort stands to be more difficult through that lens, and the lack of a prior relationship with Pierce will make the setup worth monitoring.

Kelly is under contract, and Davis said (via Gutierrez) he hopes the veteran exec will stay with the team. It appeared Kelly was close to landing the job, with the Raiders having him sit in on their few HC interviews. But it had been reported Pierce and Kelly were not necessarily a package deal. Davis also added Tom Delaney would remain in place managing the Raiders’ salary cap. Part of the search committee that produced Pierce and Telesco, Delaney has been with the Raiders since the late 1990s.

Hired as Ziegler’s assistant GM before becoming the interim leader midseason, Kelly interviewed for the Panthers’ GM job. That has gone to Dan Morgan; Kelly has not been connected to any other job. Unless the Raiders let Kelly out of his contract or he quits, a situation in which Telesco works with his top competitor for the job could conceivably come to pass.

Raiders Hire Tom Telesco As GM

Although the Raiders kept Antonio Pierce, previous reports indicated he and interim GM Champ Kelly were not necessarily a package deal. That detail looks to prove critical now. The AFC West team is expected to go in a different GM direction.

Former Chargers GM Tom Telesco looks set to have an immediate second chance. The Raiders are likely to hire the 11-year GM veteran,’s Ian Rapoport reports. Telesco worked as the Bolts’ GM from 2013-23 but was fired shortly after the Raiders’ 63-21 demolition late this season. With no other team interviewing Telesco for its GM vacancy, he is now set to team with Pierce in Las Vegas. The Raiders subsequently announced the hire.

This hiring comes after the team had Kelly sitting in on HC interviews ahead of the Pierce hire. While Kelly had established clear momentum and was certainly on the radar to join Pierce as the rare interim figure to keep a job, the Raiders will go with a more experienced candidate. This could well lead Kelly elsewhere, though The Athletic’s Tashan Reed notes he remains under contract. The well-respected front office figure only met with one other team — the Panthers — about its GM job. Carolina promoted Dan Morgan to fill that post Monday.

It would be a bit odd to see Telesco sign off on working with perhaps his top competition for this job, so it bears monitoring to see if Kelly will remain with the Raiders.

For Telesco, this will provide a chance to start over after his Philip Rivers– and Justin Herbert-centered rosters repeatedly ran into obstacles in Southern California. Injury issues routinely plagued the Chargers during the 2010s and 2020s, though their rosters always always generated praise coming into seasons. Telesco will now work with another first-time HC. Hiring only rookie HCs during his run with the Chargers (Mike McCoy, Anthony Lynn, Brandon Staley), Telesco’s teams only qualified for three playoff fields in his 11-year run.

Telesco, 51, came in for a second Raiders interview Monday. That meeting may have changed the team’s thinking. The longtime Chargers front office leader will bring more than 30 years of NFL experience to Las Vegas. Beginning his career as a Bills intern during Bill Polian‘s GM run, Telesco followed the future Hall of Famer to Charlotte and then Indianapolis. With the Colts, Telesco worked his way up to director of player personnel. He held that title for six years, being with the team during its Super Bowl XLI win and its Super Bowl XLIV loss three years later. A year after the Colts fired Polian and hired Ryan Grigson, Teleseco received his GM opportunity and became one of the longer-serving true GMs entering this past season.

With the Chargers, Telesco gave Rivers Pro Bowl pieces in the late 2010s. He drafted Keenan Allen in the 2013 third round and added Joey Bosa and Derwin James in 2016 and ’18, respectively. Telesco added Pro Bowl left tackle Rashawn Slater in the 2021 first round as well. He excelled on the extension front, giving new deals to Melvin Ingram — ahead of the veteran’s Pro Bowl years — along with Allen, Bosa, James and Mike Williams. Telesco also signed Austin Ekeler to what became one of the best running back deals in recent memory, a four-year, $24.5MM pact that locked in the passing-down dynamo before back-to-back seasons leading the NFL in touchdowns.

Telesco landing Herbert at No. 6 overall may be his defining GM move, and the decision-maker gave the next Chargers GM a boost by extending Herbert through 2029 last summer. Herbert has become one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, quickly showing that form. However, Telesco’s Staley hire — and the litany of injuries to plague the Bolts — have restricted the prodigious passer. The Chargers are just 1-for-4 in playoff appearances with Herbert, and the lone cameo resulted in a 27-point wild-card collapse in Jacksonville. Rather than fire Staley and go after Sean Payton — long rumored as interested in the job — Telesco (and Chargers ownership) retained Staley. This preceded the December firings of the Bolts’ HC and GM.

Pairing Pierce with a seasoned GM makes sense. Of the candidates the Raiders interviewed, Telesco is the only one with experience as a full-time GM. Mark Davis spoke of the possibility of bringing in a football ops-type presence to lead the way. With Telesco being hired, he might well be that figure to work alongside the owner and head coach.

Kelly and Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds were believed to be the other finalists, per CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones. Dodds and Kelly were believed to be the frontrunners recently, Reed adds, indicating the team was leery about putting Pierce with a first-time GM. Dodds interviewed for the Las Vegas GM job in 2022 and was believed to have made a good impression on Davis. It is unsurprising the longtime Indianapolis exec was again in this race until the end. While Dodds figures to stay in his current post, it will be interesting to see if Kelly — hired to be Dave Ziegler‘s assistant GM in 2022 and taking over as interim GM in November — ends up elsewhere.

Given Pierce’s limited coaching background, it should be expected it will be Telesco making the final calls regarding the team’s 53-man roster. While Josh McDaniels was widely believed to be calling the shots in Vegas during his short HC tenure, Davis emphasized it was Ziegler controlling the roster. The Raiders’ coordinator hires will be the next dominoes to fall. While the team has blocked DC Patrick Graham from making lateral moves, it will be interesting to see if the HC carousel regular will be OK working for a head coach with considerably less experience.

For now, Telesco will step into a situation that differs from his Chargers setup. Rivers was entering his eighth season as a starter when Telesco took over in 2013. With the Dolphins selecting Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall in 2020, Herbert was available. The Raiders are unlikely to have comparably easy access to a top-tier QB talent this offseason, holding the No. 13 overall pick after an 8-9 season. That will be the top roster need for Telesco, who will join Pierce in assembling a coaching staff.

Tom Telesco Taking Part In Second Raiders GM Interview; Mike Caldwell In Play For Defensive Role

4:50pm: The Raiders’ final decision between Telesco, Dodds and Kelly could be made as early as tomorrow, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports. As a result, the team’s ongoing search will certainly be worth following closely in the immediate future.

2:20pm: The list of finalists for the Raiders’ general manager vacancy continues to grow. Former Chargers GM Tom Telesco is in Las Vegas for a second interview for the position today, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic. As his colleague Tashan Reed notes, Colts exec Ed Dodds has also met with the Raiders twice.

Telesco’s long run with the Chargers came to an end midway through the 2023 season after he and head coach Brandon Staley were fired. As a result, the franchise is looking for a new GM for the first time since 2013. While that search is ongoing, Telesco has received interest from the division-rival Raiders. Dodds has generated greater interest, and he is seen as a top challenger to interim GM Champ Kelly for the full-time gig.

Telesco and the Raiders met earlier this month, and that interview obviously went well given today’s update. The Raiders recently sorted out their coaching situation by removing the interim tag from head coach Antonio Pierce. That move has been celebrated by many, but it leaves the team short on experience on the sidelines. Pairing Pierce with a rookie GM would thus carry risk, something which could be avoided by hiring Telesco.

The latter helped lead the Chargers to a winning record six times during his tenure, and he was responsible for a number of high-profile player acquisitions. One of his most important moves was authorizing the massive extension Justin Herbert signed last offseason, though the Raiders face a much more uncertain situation under center at the moment. Finding stability at the QB spot will be a top priority for whomever gets the nod from owner Mark Davis.

Meanwhile, former Jaguars DC Mike Caldwell is on the Raiders’ radar. Caldwell will interview with the team for a defensive staff position, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports. In the event Patrick Graham – who is currently in place as defensive coordinator – departs for a head coaching position, Caldwell could be in play to take over in that role with Vegas, Fowler adds.

With plenty yet to be determined on the sidelines and in the front office, here is how the Raiders’ GM search is taking shape:

2024 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

With the Commanders making a hire, four teams remain in search of general managers. This includes the Patriots, who have moved on from HC/de facto GM Bill Belichick. If other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown of where searches stand:

Updated 1-30-24 (8:15am CT)

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Washington Commanders

Raiders To Interview Tom Telesco For GM

Fired by the Chargers last month, Tom Telesco brings 11 years of experience as a GM. At least one team will see what the longtime Chargers executive has to offer.

The Raiders have set up an interview with Telesco,’s Ian Rapoport reports. Although Champ Kelly has served as an interim GM, Telesco is the only candidate in this race who has previously been hired to head up a front office. This marks his first connection to a GM job since the Bolts fired he and Brandon Staley following the Raiders’ 63-21 demolition last month.

Telesco, who came to San Diego from Indianapolis in 2013, featured generally well-regarded rosters in Southern California. The Chargers received considerable hype often during Telesco’s tenure, despite the organization not having a reputation for big spending. The Bolts hired three first-time head coaches (Mike McCoy, Anthony Lynn, Staley) during Telesco’s tenure. Each made the playoffs, but overall, the Bolts were just 3-for-11 in playoff berths under Telesco.

That said, Telesco managed to craft a Philip Rivers-to-Justin Herbert quarterback pipeline. Telesco extended Herbert this past offseason, locking down the high-end talent through the 2029 season. That deal has made the Chargers’ HC job quite attractive. Telesco also drafted Pro Bowlers Joey Bosa, Derwin James and Rashawn Slater in the first round while finding perennial Pro Bowler Keenan Allen in the third. Injuries often intervened for the Chargers, who regularly experienced late-game letdowns — the most notorious coming in a 27-point wild-card collapse against the Jaguars.

Telesco, 51, was previously a Bill Polian mainstay. He was with the Hall of Fame exec in Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis. He rose from the scouting ranks to the Colts’ director of player personnel under Polian, collecting a Super Bowl ring for Indianapolis’ 2006 season, and spent one season under Ryan Grigson before the Chargers’ hire 11 years ago. Courtesy of PFR’s General Manager Search Tracker, here is how the Raiders’ GM pursuit looks so far:

Chargers Fire Brandon Staley, Tom Telesco

Following the Raiders’ historic rout of the Chargers on Thursday night, the reeling team will drop the hammer early. The Bolts announced the firings of Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco on Friday morning.

The Chargers have since announced the promotion of Giff Smith and JoJo Wooden to respectively replace Staley and Telesco on an interim basis. The former has experience as a D-line coach dating back to 1999, and he has been in the organization since 2016. Over the past two seasons, though, he has worked as the team’s outside linebackers coach. This will be Smith’s first appointment as a head coach at the college or pro level.

Wooden, meanwhile, has been with the Chargers for the past decade. He has served with the title of player personnel director after working his way through the ranks in the Jets’ scouting department from 1997 to 2012. Like Smith, he will now oversee the conclusion of a highly disappointing campaign for the Bolts before potentially garnering consideration for the full-time role.

This is the first instance of the Chargers firing a head coach in-season since they axed Kevin Gilbride 25 years ago. But Staley has long been expected to be out, with the Bolts regressing in a season following a 27-point collapse in the wild-card round. Telesco spent 11 years as the Chargers’ GM. While much-hyped rosters formed under his watch, the team did not turn well-regarded transactions into sustained success.

Hired in 2021, Staley came over after one season as the Rams’ defensive coordinator. But the ascendant assistant could not establish success in this area with the Chargers. The Raiders dropping 63 on their rivals, 42 of those points coming in the first half, after the Vikings had held them scoreless in Week 15 prompted Bolts ownership to act early.

Telesco backed Staley following the Jaguars’ wild-card rally, which doubled as the third-biggest postseason deficit ever overcome, and the “what if?” involving Sean Payton is worth examining. The then-FOX analyst was linked to being interested in the Chargers job at multiple points last year. The move would have allowed Payton to stay in Los Angeles. But Telesco kept Staley, continuing a Chargers trend of keeping coaches beyond two seasons.

Staley is now the first Bolts HC to lose his job after less than four full seasons since the team fired Mike Riley following the 2001 campaign. Even Riley, who did not produce a winning season, lasted longer than Staley. But the alarming Week 15 performance opened the door to the Bolts needing to cut the cord now. As the team began to struggle this season, Chargers president John Spanos — a previous Staley advocate — began to distance himself from the embattled HC,’s Armando Salguero notes. The Spanoses will now begin to look for Staley’s replacement in an offseason that will remind of 2013, when the Bolts replaced both their HC and GM.

The Telesco news represents a bigger-picture development. The former Colts exec had hired Mike McCoy, Anthony Lynn and Staley during his run as GM. Telesco’s drafts brought difference-makers in Joey Bosa, Keenan Allen, Derwin James, Rashawn Slater and Justin Herbert. Telesco did well to leave no gaps between star quarterbacks, selecting Herbert sixth overall a month after Philip Rivers departed in free agency. Telesco, 51, also hammered out a through-2029 Herbert extension this offseason. The quarterback’s presence will make both the new Bolts vacancies attractive, but rampant underachievement has defined this team for much of the 21st century.

Even before the Raiders’ rout, Telesco was rumored to be on the chopping block. Dean Spanos will opt to not let Telesco hire a fourth HC. The three he hired combined for just three playoff appearances in 11 seasons. The Chargers, who had sustained success under Marty Schottenheimer and the early part of Norv Turner‘s ensuing HC run, have not ventured to back-to-back playoff brackets since the 2008-09 seasons. Despite Rivers playing his final seven Chargers seasons during Telesco’s tenure, the potential Hall of Famer only piloted the Bolts to two playoff brackets in that span. The Chargers won postseason games in 2013 and ’18 and were on track to eliminate the Jags last season, but success proved fleeting for squads that seemed to annually generate buzz.

After hiring offense-oriented coaches in 2013 and ’17, Telesco chose Staley’s defensive acumen to pair with Herbert in 2021. The Chargers managed to produce the AFC’s Pro Bowl starting quarterback and miss the playoffs. That had not happened in the AFC since the 1989 Bengals. Herbert put up dazzling numbers in 2021, but a Week 18 loss to the Raiders led to the budding superstar’s season wrapping early. A rib injury last September limited Herbert, and Staley fired OC Joe Lombardi following the playoff season. Two-year DC Renaldo Hill left to rejoin Vic Fangio in Miami this offseason.

Following a 2021 season that featured the Bolts ranking 29th in points allowed, Staley made a push for the team to equip him with better defensive personnel in 2022. The team traded for Khalil Mack and signed J.C. Jackson and Sebastian Joseph-Day. The Mack trade belatedly panned out, with the former Raiders and Bears standout rebounding for 15 sacks this season. The five-year, $82.5MM Jackson contract proved disastrous for the Chargers, who sent the underperforming cornerback back to the Patriots for next to nothing earlier this season.

The Chargers had made Jackson a healthy scratch in Week 3. Even after the round of defensive reinforcements, Staley’s 2022 defense ranked 20th; after last night’s Raider rampage, his third Charger defense ranks 29th. Last season’s Jacksonville catastrophe also featured the Bolts lining up without Mike Williams, who was injured in a meaningless Week 18 game against the Broncos. Staley and Telesco each defended the decision to leave starters in that contest deep into the second half, but the Chargers — who have struggled with receiver health over the past two seasons — suffered the consequences of Williams’ absence a week later. As the Chargers swooned in the wake of the playoff debacle, they lost Herbert to a season-ending finger injury.

Herbert’s status will naturally drive interest in this position, and some around the league are monitoring the Chargers as a Bill Belichick suitor. The Bolts would likely need to trade for the Patriots legend, and it would be interesting to see if this gains traction. A short-term Belichick-Herbert pairing would draw interest for a franchise that has struggled to establish itself in L.A., while such a move would also be a zag after Telesco made inexperienced coordinators — in Staley and Lynn — his HC choices. But we are still a ways away from the Belichick market taking shape.

Regardless of where the Chargers go from here, their next regime will be responsible for undoing some of the damage this era brought. The organization’s reputation for letdowns pushed “Chargering” into the NFL lexicon. In a division with Payton and Patrick Mahomes, the Bolts suddenly have more ground to make up despite striking gold with Herbert.

Adam La Rose contributed to this post.

Chargers GM Tom Telesco On Hot Seat?

Tom Telesco has spent more than a decade with the Chargers organization. However, with his squad eyeing another underwhelming finish, there’s a chance he’s let go after the season. According to Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post, “there’s a strong expectation within the industry” that the Chargers will be seeking a new head coach and a new GM this offseason.

After stops with the Bills and the Panthers to begin his career, Telesco worked his way up through the Colts organization, culminating in him earning the role of vice president of football operations. At the same time, the Chargers were about to miss the playoffs for the third straight season, leading to longtime GM A.J. Smith‘s ouster.

Telesco ended up earning the Chargers GM job, and he helped build a roster that ultimately won a playoff game in his first season at the helm. However, the Chargers only won one more playoff game over the next nine seasons, with the organization only having a pair of playoff appearances over that span. The exec has a had a few highs (including a 12-4 season in 2018) and more lows (including three seasons with five or fewer wins), but he’s managed to stick around as one of the longest-tenured GMs in the NFL.

The organization’s lack of success might finally catch up to Telesco in 2023. The Chargers currently sit at 5-8, and with Justin Herbert set to miss the rest of the season, things probably aren’t going to get much better in Los Angeles. Owner Dean Spanos will reportedly conduct an offseason evaluation of the organization, and it could ending up leading to significant changes.

As for head coach Brandon Staley, it’s seeming like a foregone conclusion that the head coach will be canned following the season. As the criticism mounts, the Chargers have already been connected to potential replacement options. However, La Canfora warns that Staley might not even make it to the offseason and could be an in-season casualty. With his defense stumbling and his franchise quarterback sidelined, Staley could be facing a brutal end of the season, and a humiliating loss could ultimately cost him his job.