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Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp smiles after announcing he has signed an extension to his contract with the Alouettes through the 2014 season during a news conference Wednesday August 4, 2010 in Montreal.


Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has tabbed Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp as a darkhorse candidate to become the NFL teams next general manager.

In a series of Twitter posts on Friday night, Irsay said the search for a new GM was "going very well" adding he will have spoken with seven potential candidates by Monday.

"The pool of candidates is deep n talented," tweeted Irsay. "It is impressive how a new wave of gifted executives has developed n the NFL..much 2 choose from."

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Irsay then challenged his followers to identify this dark horse candidate, Jim (blank) out of Canada.

"Jim Popp! Look at this man's accomplishments!" wrote Irsay. "Does he deserve NFL shot or not a good fit in NFL??"

Popp has been the GM of the Alouettes for the last 16 years, winning three Grey Cup championships over that time span. Prior to moving to Montreal, Popp was responsible for putting together the Baltimore Stallions, who went on to become the first American-based CFL team to win the Grey Cup in 1995.

"Twitter world says Popp just might have right stuff! Holy (expletive)!" concluded Irsay, whose search for a new GM for the Colts began earlier in the week with the firing of Chris Polian.

Popp signed a new deal with Montreal through the 2014 season, meaning the CFL club would have to agree to release him from its contract before he could head south of the border.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the other six candidates for the job include: Atlanta Falcons player-personnel director Les Snead; Falcons college scouting director David Caldwell; Philadelphia Eagles player-personnel director Ryan Grigson; New York Giants college scouting director Marc Ross; Dallas Cowboys assistant scouting director Tom Ciskowski; and Colts player-personnel director Tom Telesco.

The Colts posted a 2-14 record this past season. Star quarterback Peyton Manning, a four-time NFL MVP, was out the entire year after undergoing neck surgery. Manning's NFL future remains uncertain and the club must decide by early March whether the Colts pick up the US$28-million option on the five-year, $90-million deal Manning signed with Indianapolis last summer.

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Whoever takes over as GM must also deal with the status of head coach Jim Caldwell and whether the Colts should use the top pick in the 2012 NFL draft on Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

Files from the Canadian Press were used in this report

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