Overshadowed by the team's head coaching search and all of the Jim Harbaugh rumors surrounding the job has been the LA Chargers search for a new general manager. There are several intriguing candidates that the Bolts have interviewed, including some with ties to Harbaugh that could be hired if the veteran head coach chooses Los Angeles over Michigan.
Just like the head coaching search, not every candidate that the Chargers have brought in for an interview for the vacant GM position has been a great one. That is the nature of the beast when hiring for these jobs as the Chargers are attempting to cast a wide net.
On Wednesday, though, the Bolts might be interviewing the worst candidate of them all. Reminiscent of the time the Chargers interviewed Jason Garrett back in 2021, the Bolts are meeting with a candidate that nobody wants to see running the team in any capacity: Jeff Ireland.
Jeff Ireland is an awful candidate for Chargers general manager
For those who are unfamiliar with Jeff Ireland, controversy has followed him just about everywhere he has been, it seems. Ireland has been in the league in some capacity since the '90s and spent six full seasons as the general manager of the Miami Dolphins.
That tenure as Miami GM was ultimately shined the light on Ireland as a controversial executive. The first damning story that emerged was centered around Dez Bryant in 2010. During an interview leading up to the 2010 NFL Draft, Ireland reportedly asked Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. This, rightfully, prompted outrage and forced Ireland to apologize to Bryant after he was drafted by the Cowboys.
Four years later, Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin punched teammate Richie Incognito after "'a pattern of harassment' that included racial slurs and vicious sexual taunts about his mother and sister" (h/t ESPN). Ireland found himself at the center of it as he reportedly suggested to Martin that he should punch his teammate, rather than resolve the issue himself.
The controversies are enough for the Chargers to stay a mile away from Ireland. This is a new era of Chargers football and there is no reason to bring in someone like this to shepard that new era.
But that obviously was not enough to deter the Chargers, so let's just take a quick look at his front-office history. During his tenure with the Dolphins, he had just one winning season and did not win a single playoff game.
In his current role with the Saints, he has been in charge of scouting and drafting. Ireland initially received praise for overhauling New Orleans' process but the track record isn't actually that exciting.
In nine drafts the Saints have selected five Pro Bowl players and two All-Pros. In comparison, the Chargers drafted six Pro Bowl players and two All-Pros in that same time frame. Does the team really want to move laterally from Tom Telesco to Jeff Ireland?
Sure, the Chargers have to cast a wide net and it is fair for the team to do so. But some candidates simply are not fit for the job. Ireland falls firmly in that category.