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Joe Hortiz agrees to terms to become Los Angeles Chargers general manager

Los Angeles Chargers new head coach Jim Harbaugh walks on the field before an AFC Championship NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Joe Hortiz is going from assembling talent for John Harbaugh to leading the football operations with Jim Harbaugh.

Hortiz has agreed to terms to become the Los Angeles Chargers general manager. The team made the announcement Tuesday morning.

Hortiz — who was one of nine candidates to interview for the job — will replace Tom Telesco, who was fired on Dec. 15 after nearly 11 seasons as GM.

“Joe is one of the most respected player evaluators and personnel minds in the league whose contributions to the Ravens front office over the past two decades cannot be overstated,” Chargers president of football operations John Spanos said in a statement.

“When you consider his football IQ, eye for talent, ability to think both short and long term as it pertains to roster construction, organization, thoroughness and ability to be creative within the confines of our collective bargaining agreement, it’s hard not to be excited about the future.

"Factor in his experience working with two of the best in the business in Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta and the consistency of performance that their teams have achieved, Joe is without a doubt the right person to help Coach Harbaugh and his staff build a team that will make Chargers fans proud.”

Hortiz has spent his entire NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens. He started as an area scout in 1998 and has been the Ravens director of player personnel for five seasons. Hortiz has overseen all aspects of pro and college scouting since 2019.

Prior to becoming director of player personnel, Hortiz was the Ravens director of college scouting from 2009-18.

Jim Harbaugh was hired as Chargers head coach last Wednesday and will hold his first news conference on Thursday. Harbaugh was in Baltimore on Sunday for the AFC championship game when the Ravens lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hortiz's first interview with the Chargers was on Jan. 13. He had a second interview last Friday.

“When you’ve had the privilege of working with one organization your entire career, something that’s exceedingly rare in our business, the opportunity and fit has to pretty much be perfect to consider a change,” Hortiz said in a statement.

“This is that opportunity. Then of course, having known the Harbaugh family for all these years and the chance to continue that special relationship in this new role, I truly could not be more fortunate.”

Hortiz's introductory news conference will be on Feb. 6.

New York Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown was the only other candidate to get a second interview.

Hortiz won't need to find a franchise quarterback since the Chargers already have one in Justin Herbert. But he will have to make a lot of key roster decisions with the Bolts at least $45 million over the salary cap. Wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, along with linebackers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, have cap numbers of at least $30 million for the 2024 season.

Los Angeles also has the fifth overall pick in April's draft after a disappointing 5-12 season, including five straight losses to end the campaign.

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