Raiders must still make Champ Kelly returning a priority

The Las Vegas Raiders passed on Champ Kelly for general manager, but he should still be a priority coming back in 2024.

New York Jets v Las Vegas Raiders
New York Jets v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

On Tuesday, the Las Vegas Raiders officially named Tom Telesco their general manager. During the process, many believed that the interim title would be stripped from Champ Kelly, and he would remain on in a full-time role at the position.

Instead, the Raiders decided to go with a veteran GM in Telesco, who was fired by the Los Angeles Chargers last month. Telesco brings a wealth of knowledge, but the fan base had rallied around Kelly, making the hire one that was met with dismay by a portion of Raider Nation.

While Kelly did not get the general manager job, there is no denying what an incredible job he did during the team's late-season run. After taking over on Halloween night, Kelly teamed with Antonio Pierce to lead the Raiders to a 5-4 finish, gaining a wealth of experience along the way.

Though Kelly did not get the job, there is no doubt the Raiders should try to retain him, and possibly make him an assistant general manager for Telesco. Going forward, he should still be a priority hire for Mark Davis.

Former Raiders interim GM Champ Kelly is a rising star

Based on what he did last season, Kelly should be viewed by many teams as a rising star in the NFL at the general manager spot. He was able to not only gain the respect of the fans and the roster, but he made a terrific roster move by bringing in Jack Jones at cornerback down the stretch.

Kelly has been present for interviews, and was at the press conference announcing Telesco and Antonio Pierce on Wednesday. Eventually, Kelly will get a general manager spot, but for 2024, the priority should be having him work hand-in-hand with Telesco and fixing the Raiders roster going forward.

A combination of Telesco and Kelly would complement Pierce as head coach perfectly.