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Broncos to interview with Bears Champ Kelly for vacant GM spot

All signs point to him being their primary target.

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Connections to both Elway and Fangio hint that Kelly is the guy.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

According to the Broncos’ President Joe Ellis, Denver has requested permission to interview the Beats assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly.

Kelly was hired by the Broncos in 2007 as the Northeast College scout and worked his way up to become the Assistant Director of Pro Personnel. He left the team for Chicago in 2015 to become the Bears’ director of pro scouting. In 2017 he was promoted to his current position. He interviewed with the Jets in 2019 for their vacant GM search before New York hired Joe Douglas.

A graduate of Kentucky, Kelly played wide receiver for the Wildcats. He has also played, coached, and managed the Lexington Horsemen of the USFL from 2003 to 2006. During that time the Horsemen won the Indoor Bowl. From 2002 to 2005, Kelly worked with IBM as a software/quality engineer. He earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky.

According to KOA’s Benjamin Allbright, Kelly is the current favorite for the Broncos’ vacant position. On Monday’s episode of Broncos’ Country Tonight, Allbright mentioned that if Kelly is hired, the Broncos would express interest in Nick Foles to compete with Drew Lock at quarterback. The Broncos are also interested in the San Francisco 49ers Vice President of Player Personnel Adam Peters.

In December, the Scouting Academy’s Dan Hatman wrote about how NFL teams search for general managers. Hatman found that prior relationships are an overwhelming hint at how these decisions are made.

Of the 71 GM searches studied since 2007, only 19 led to a new decision maker that did not have clear ties to the Owner/Search Committee/Head Coach. So turning that into a percentage, only 27% of GM searches resulted in Ownership actually changing course and installing new systems in their personnel department.”

Everything John Elway said in his press conference Monday suggests the Broncos will want to continue with business as usual in their personnel department, which helps Kelly. He has ties to both John Elway and Vic Fangio, but other teams have shown interest.