Can Khai Harley handle the operations of an NFL franchise?
He's known as the financial wizard behind saving New Orleans millions on player contracts. How he intelligently maneuvers deals and creates cap space for the Saints are legendary.
Last season, he and executive vice president/general manager Mickey Loomis overcame tremendous odds and fielded a team without exceeding the NFL cap limit.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KHAI HARLEY?
Harley, vice president of football administration for New Orleans, hasn't been mentioned by national media as a candidate for current general manager openings.
He is "smart and has a savvy business acumen," said WWL's Mike Detillier.
I explored the topic further with Detillier. He noted that the league owners and executives focus on GM candidates who are "personnel oriented." Harley's strength has been "involved with personnel decisions more on the financial management" side. In "today's world, you hire the personnel guy, and he hires the salary cap guy," shared Detillier.
In essence, are NFL teams may believe Harley doesn't "fit the mold" of a personnel-oriented general manager.
After the Atlanta Falcons hired former assistant general manager Terry Fontenot from New Orleans, reports mentioned his interest in recruiting Harley. The Saints may have balked at the notion of two young minority executives leaving and joining a division rival.
HE HAS THE FINANCIAL AND PERSONNEL ACUMEN
Harley's value for the Saints organization is unmeasurable. Still, I wonder if he's intelligent enough to keep a winning franchise afloat financially, couldn't Harley, as a GM, hire a crafty "personnel guy?"
After 21 seasons in the NFL and 14 with New Orleans under Mickey Loomis, I'm sure he can comprehend how to compile a talented and winning roster. New Orleans' website discloses that one of his responsibilities is to "work closely with the Pro and College Personnel departments in preparation of free agency and the NFL Draft" - a primary function of a general manager.
Reports have the Saints' assistant general manager Jeff Ireland as a candidate for the recently vacated general manager's position by Ryan Pace. Before being in Chicago, Pace held the roles of director of scouting and player personnel in New Orleans.
NFL MINORITY HIRING/FIRING PRACTICES IN QUESTION, AGAIN
Minority hiring/firing and interviewing practices in the NFL are under fire. People have taken to social media and broadcasts to express the frustrations behind the slow hiring yet quick firing of African American coaches and executives within the NFL franchises. Recently, more coaching candidates have been interviewed. FAU receivers coach and former Steelers great Hines Ward met with the Houston Texans. Although, Eric Bieniemy's candidacy has not been mentioned for an interview with eight head coaching openings available.
Khai Harley has a proven track record. Replacing him in New Orleans would be a challenging assignment for Loomis.
Ireland is a strong candidate for talent evaluation, but Harley would be an intelligent executive-level hire for an NFL club.
What will it take for an NFL owner to open their eyes finally and confidently request an interview? Or, does New Orleans have another plan for the Khai Harley in terms of another promotion?
We shall see.
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