Tom Telesco signing former Chargers disappointment is comedy gold for LA fans

Tom Telesco is at it again signing former Chargers players.
Las Vegas Raiders Introduce Antonio Pierce As Head Coach, Tom Telesco As General Manager
Las Vegas Raiders Introduce Antonio Pierce As Head Coach, Tom Telesco As General Manager / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

It's still early in Jim Harbaugh's tenure as head coach, but fans are bullish on the new era of LA Chargers football. Even though Harbaugh has approved some questionable moves like trading away Keenan Allen, there's an aura surrounding the team following Harbaugh's arrival, which of course, was accompanied by the departures of Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco.

Much to the shock of Chargers fans, both Staley and Telesco quickly found new jobs. After interviewing for multiple defensive coordinator vacancies, Staley was hired by the 49ers as their assistant head coach under head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Meanwhile, Telesco was promptly scooped up by the rival Raiders, who hired him as their new general manager.

The early reviews on Telesco have been positive. He drafted the best player available in round one in Georgia tight end Brock Bowers and got good value in Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson on day two. Knowing Telesco's resume with the Chargers, though, the honeymoon isn't going to last forever.

Sure enough, Telesco couldn't resist the urge to sign former Chargers project Jalen Guyton, who never panned out in Los Angeles.

Raiders GM Tom Telesco signs former Chargers WR Jalen Guyton

Guyton was a viable deep threat for Justin Herbert over his time with the Chargers, but injuries hindered his development. It was Telesco who signed Guyton in 2019 as an undrafted free agent out of North Texas.

Still just 26 years old, Guyton burst onto the scene in 2020 with 28 catches for 511 yards and three touchdowns. He never eclipsed the 450-yard benchmark again in his final three seasons and was swiftly supplanted as WR3 by 2021 third-round pick Joshua Palmer.

A torn ACL in 2022 derailed any future Guyton might have had with the Chargers. The injury cost him all but three games that year and forced him to miss time in 2023. By the time he returned, he was an afterthought in the offense even though LA needed reinforcements at wide receiver.

Even with Mike Williams missing 14 games with an ACL tear and first-round pick Quentin Johnston laboring through a nightmare rookie season, Guyton couldn't break through. In eight games, he caught 10 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.

He predictably wasn't brought back in free agency and now joins a crowded Raiders pass-catching group that features Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Brock Bowers, Michael Mayer, Michael Gallup and Tre Tucker.

Telesco clearly isn't ready to give up on Guyton, but the former Charger will face long odds to even make the Raiders' 53-man roster.