The news was made official on Wednesday. After weeks of speculation, Jim Harbaugh accepted an offer to become the new head coach of the LA Chargers and kickstart a new era of football in Los Angeles that will hopefully wipe away the mistakes of years past.
Harbaugh is not coming alone, however, as he is also going to build out a staff that is going to help him create consistent excellence in LA. It goes higher than the coaching staff, though, as the Chargers still have not hired a general manager to pair with Harbaugh on this new frontier.
Harbaugh 100% has say in who the Chargers will hire as the general manager and that is why the move has not been made yet. Thankfully, the team has some solid candidates to choose from and there are three favorites, in particular, who have emerged with Harbaugh now officially in LA.
Chargers general manager favorites after hiring Jim Harbaugh:
Brandon Brown, New York Giants assistant GM
Brandon Brown interviewed with the Chargers on the same day that the Harbaugh news was announced. Brown interviewing with the team before the Harbaugh news was made official was very telling as he and Harbaugh reportedly have a good relationship despite never working together.
Brown joined the Giants' front office alongside Joe Schoen, who took over the job prior to the 2022 season. Before being on the Giants staff, Brown spent five years in the lauded Philadelphia Eagles front office and was instrumental in the Eagles' pro scouting department.
Brown first got his start in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015 and worked there for two seasons before joining Philly's front office. With almost a decade of experience in the league, Brown is a solid candidate.
Ed Dodds, Indianapolis Colts assistant GM
Out of all the potential favorites to be hired, Ed Dodds has the biggest ties to Harbaugh. Back before the Las Vegas Raiders ultimately hired Tom Telesco Chargers fans were worried they would hire Dodds in an attempt to swipe Harbaugh away from the Bolts.
That ultimately did not happen and now the Chargers feel like the only place that Dodds can get a GM job this offseason. That is not to say that Dodds is not qualified but all of the stars are aligning for Harbaugh to partner up with Dodds if that is what he desires.
Dodds has 21 years of experience in the NFL and his relationship with Harbaugh stems back to his four-year stint with the Las Vegas Raiders in the early 2000s. Harbaugh was the quarterbacks coach at the time. Dodds then spent 10 years with the Seattle Seahawks and has been with the Colts since 2017.
Joe Hortiz, Ravens director of player personnel
The Chargers brought Joe Hortiz in for a second interview after hiring Harbaugh so he has to be considered one of the finalists for the job. Hortiz does not have direct experience with Jim Harbaugh but he has worked with John Harbaugh for a long time and that connection alone could drive this partnership.
Hortiz has been with the Ravens in some capacity since the 1998 season. The long-time executive started as a personal assistant and worked his way up in the organization. He became a pro scout in 2001, an area scout in 2003, a national scout in 2006, the director of college scouting in 2009, and then the director of player personnel in 2019.
The Ravens have consistently been great while Hortiz has been in the building and the team drafted some notable players while he was the director of college scouting. Horitz's last draft in that role in 2019 was arguably his best, as Baltimore drafted Lamar Jackson, Orlando Brown and Mark Andrews with three consecutive picks.