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Chiefs player remains fan of Raiders’ new GM: ‘He’ll do a great job’

Drue Tranquill, a year ago, could have pictured himself taking the field for Super Bowl 58 on Sunday.

He just would have been with the Chargers instead of the Chiefs. And his general manager would have been Tom Telesco, not Brett Veach.

The life of an NFL player doesn’t always go as planned. Tranquill found that out when he and the Chargers, who drafted him in 2019, could not come to terms on a new contract in March.

He’s also not the only one with a new team. Telesco, who was fired by the Chargers in December, is now the Raiders general manager. He’ll follow in Tranquill’s footsteps and hit the reset button with an AFC West rival.

Tranquill found out the end of one chapter can lead to better things with another.

He appeared in all 16 games for the Chiefs this season and finished tied for third on the team in tackles in 78. He made sure to soak it all in Monday at Allegiant Stadium, where the Raiders knocked him and the Chargers out of the playoffs two years earlier.

“It’s wild to walk through that same tunnel just a short two years later and have a chance to compete for a Lombardi Trophy,” Tranquill said.

Tranquill believes Telesco will thrive at his new stop as well. He saw the talent Telesco brought to the Chargers, like quarterback Justin Herbert, edge rusher Joey Bosa and safety Derwin James.

“He’ll continue to have success,” Tranquill said. “He’s a great football mind.”

Tranquill isn’t bitter about how things ended in Los Angeles.

He emerged as a defensive leader and had a team-high 143 tackles in 2022. He thought he’d be back with the club, likely on a long-term deal.

It didn’t happen. But he knew he had a huge advocate in Telesco.

“He actually really, really wanted to keep me last year,” Tranquill said.

Telesco stayed in touch with Tranquill throughout the free-agency process. It’s a gesture the linebacker won’t s0on forget.

“He went out of his way to communicate, not only in exit interviews but after everything kind of went down, he was pounding the table for me,” Tranquill said. “So I’m super appreciative of him.”

Tranquill is thankful that Telesco saw potential in him from the outset. And he’s grateful for the honesty the general manager displayed in the offseason.

“He was always straightforward with me throughout the process,” Tranquill said. “Where I was at, where I stood, how he saw me,” Tranquill said. “He let me know in those exit interviews and in those text messages that I was everything he was looking for in a Chargers linebacker.”

Tranquill and Telesco will remain competitors moving forward. But Tranquill remains a huge fan of the Raiders general manager.

“I think he’ll do a great job,” Tranquill said.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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