The Las Vegas Raiders have been linked to numerous head coaching and general manager prospects this offseason, but it appears that the franchise was never particularly interested in looking outside the building. Antonio Pierce is the favorite to be the full-time head coach, and the team may soon make a general manager selection.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler’s January 17 X post, interim general manager Champ Kelly “has been present” in the Raiders’ head coach interviews, indicating that he is the front-runner for the full-time head coach position.

Kelly has been the leader in the clubhouse since he took over for Dave Ziegler after he was fired. It’s difficult to know how much involvement Kelly had in building the current Raiders’ roster but he’s been able to differentiate from Ziegler enough for owner Mark Davis to be comfortable promoting him.

Now, nothing is official quite yet so Davis may still be making up his mind but it would be odd to have Kelly sitting in on head coach interviews if the plan wasn’t to retain him. The only other option would be that the Raiders want him to be in a different role like president of football operations but that seems unlikely.It was going to be tough for another candidate to beat out Champ Kelly after the Raiders’ strong finish to the season. However, there’s one guy who has made the decision tough. The Raiders have liked Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds for years but many signs are pointing to the team going in a different direction.

“Dodds, for what it’s worth, interviewed well in 2022, which is what led the Raiders back to him,” Breer wrote in a January 17 mailbag. “And while there was a perception that his connection to Jim Harbaugh is part of why there’s been interest in him from Vegas, and that’s certainly part of it, Dodds has distinguished himself with Davis as an individual. That said, Kelly did a nice job helping Pierce steady the ship this season, and is well liked in the building, too.”

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 There’s clearly interest in Champ Kelly around the NFL. He interviewed with the Washington Commanders and Carolina Panthers for their general manager openings. If the Raiders change their mind and go with Ed Dodds, Kelly will likely be able to land a general manager job or a high-level position in another front office.

It’s still a question mark exactly how Kelly will be at talent evaluation. He hasn’t been the man in charge of free agency or the draft before. However, he’s respected around the NFL, and the Raiders like him a lot. He still has to prove he’s the right guy going forward and this will be a big offseason for him. The team needs a quarterback and not being able to solve that position has led to a lot of general managers getting fired.

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