HomeTrade RumorsInterim GM Champ Kelly of the Raiders Anticipated to Attract Interest

Interim GM Champ Kelly of the Raiders Anticipated to Attract Interest

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The Raiders have put their personnel decisions in the hands of assistant general manager Champ Kelly since the firing of former general manager Dave Ziegler. As much as Las Vegas would like to retain Kelly’s services next year, the NFL mandates that the team open up the job to an extensive search, despite Kelly’s current role as interim GM. That works both ways, though, meaning that other teams will get the opportunity to go after Kelly, as well, and according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kelly will be a popular name among teams with openings at the position.

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as Kelly was considered a top candidate for the Raiders’ position when the team hired Ziegler. Kelly came on as the team’s assistant GM and, together with Ziegler, Las Vegas worked hard to rebuild a defense that had been worn thin and bring in top offensive talent like wide receivers Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers. The defense now holds promising players like Robert Spillane, Marcus Epps, and Jack Jones, while youth also blooms on the offensive side of the ball in players like rookie tight end Michael Mayer and rookie wide receiver Tre Tucker.

Still, you can’t praise Kelly for good deeds performed under Ziegler without also tying him to the negative. Ziegler was fired by owner Mark Davis for a reason, even though at times it seemed like that reason was because of his ties to head coach Josh McDaniels. That being said, one of the things that seemed to be a bit of demerit on Ziegler’s record was his and McDaniels’ insistence on stuffing the Vegas roster with former Patriots (Meyers, Brian Hoyer, Jakob Johnson, Brandon Bolden, Jermaine Eluemunor, Justin Herron, and eventually Jimmy Garoppolo), and Kelly holds no connection to New England, perhaps absolving him of that sin.

The Raiders’ in-depth search for their next full-time GM will almost certainly include Kelly as a candidate. Much like head coaching positions, GM jobs are also subject to the Rooney Rules that require a team to interview at least two external candidates that are either a minority or a female. With Kelly being a black executive, he will check off Rooney Rule boxes for any teams he interviews with, making him a potentially even more popular candidate, not to take away from his impressively qualifying resume.

Kelly’s race also plays a part in his potential departure from Vegas. Because he is a minority, the Raiders would be eligible for draft-pick compensation should Kelly be hired by another team, though there is support in the building for him to remain.

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