It would appear the Kansas City Chiefs' Chris Ballard is narrowing his GM intentions down to just one team. It's been reported that Ballard, the Chiefs director of player personnel who interviewed with the Chicago Bears, declined interest in interviews for the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles GM jobs. That leaves the Chicago Bears as the front-runner at the moment.
When you fire your GM after just two years, like Jets owner Woody Johnson did with his former GM John Idzik, it's difficult to convince a new guy to come in (even with a multi-million dollar salary). The Jets haven't hired anyone yet so there's uncertainty there. Then there's this:
One reason Chris Ballard turned down Jets interview -- When he becomes a GM, wants full authority. That was far from certain in New York.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 5, 2015
About that full authority thing ... there has been some sort of apparent power struggle within the Eagles front office in hte past few weeks with player personnel executive Tom Gamble getting the ax and Chip Kelly coming out with full control. So mark them off the list.
#Chiefs exec Chris Ballard is not expected to interview for #Eagles top personnel job that Philly requested him for. Lack of final say hurts— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 6, 2015
Wait, the Eagles thought Chris Ballard--who works with Andy Reid--would be interested in their faux GM (Chip's personnel guy) job? LOL...— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 6, 2015
That leaves Chicago, where Ballard worked for over 10 years. That seems like a natural fit and it's been speculated by media outlets that Ballard is the favorite there. Assuming he leaves, I'll be interested to see if the Chiefs go outside the family to replace him or if they have someone in-house ready for the job. They obviously have to be ready for his departure.
Ballard has only been in Kansas City for a couple of years so you may not be that familiar with him. Bucs Nation wrote this excellent piece on him last year as they were making the GM candidate rounds.