The Denver Broncos’ search for a new general manager kicks off today, with a key member of the Chicago Bears front office leading the way.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport tweets Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel Champ Kelly is interviewing with the Broncos for their general manager opening. Denver asked for (and received) permission to interview Kelly earlier in the week. And now, he is one of two candidates the Broncos are hosting today. In addition to Kelly, the Broncos are talking to Vikings Assistant GM George Paton.
Prior to Friday’s scheduled interview with Denver, Kelly talked to the Carolina Panthers regarding their open GM gig. Long before that, Kelly was reportedly on the Falcons’ short-list of candidates. Even before this wave of interest, Kelly interviewed for the Jets GM opening and finished behind former co-worker Joe Douglas. In the end, it’s not surprising to see Kelly getting this type of interest from outside the Bears’ organization. Especially considering that he has been talked about as a star on the rise in NFL front office circles for some time.
Losing a respected front office like Kelly would sting for the Bears. However, a team hiring him away from the Bears could ultimately have NFL Draft implications.
As we discussed earlier in the week, NFL owners passed legislation green-lighting a new rule that rewards teams that develop minority and front office executives. Under said resolution, teams losing a minority coach or executive to a head coach or GM job elsewhere will receive compensatory third-round picks for two consecutive years. The idea behind this seems to be to incentivize hiring and promoting minority candidates throughout their organizations. In other words, the Bears are in line to receive picks in 2021 and 2022 if Kelly was hired away. Perhaps that would soften the blow of losing Kelly. Maybe just a little? It’s a thought.
In any case, we’ll continue monitoring Kelly’s interviews. If he lands a new gig, then I’ll be happy for him. There’s something satisfying seeing hard-working guys work their way up an organization en route to a top gig. And if not, then I’m sure the Bears won’t mind bringing him back. Nothing like having a GM-in-waiting on staff (you know, just in case something opens up top).