October 29, 1941|
Ernie Accorsi (born October 29, 1941) is a former American football executive. He served as the general manager of three teams in the National Football League: the Baltimore Colts (1982–1983), the Cleveland Browns (1985–1992), and the New York Giants (1998–2007).
Education and early career
A 1963 graduate of Wake Forest University with a degree in journalism, Accorsi served in the U.S. Army before getting his start in sports as a reporter for The Charlotte News. He later wrote for The Baltimore Sun and The Philadelphia Inquirer before moving to the athletic departments at St. Joseph's University (PA) and then Penn State. He served as Penn State's Assistant Sports Publicity Director in the late 1960s.
Accorsi began his NFL career in 1970 with the Baltimore Colts as its Public Relations Director, and worked on then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle's staff in the league office in 1975 before rejoining the Colts two years later as Assistant General Manager.
Accorsi was promoted to General Manager of the Colts in 1982. The Colts finished 0–8–1 in the strike-shortened 1982 season, thereby earning the right to select Stanford University quarterback John Elway with the first overall pick. Elway, however, refused to play for Baltimore, and using leverage as a draftee of the New York Yankees baseball club, forced a trade to the Denver Broncos. The team finished 7–9 in 1983, but that would be their last season in Baltimore. Accorsi resigned as GM after the 1983 season, just before the team's move to Indianapolis.
In 1985, Accorsi was hired by then Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell to serve as the team's new General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations, serving for seven seasons. Accorsi was responsible for the acquisition of quarterback Bernie Kosar in the 1985 supplemental draft. During his tenure the Browns made five playoff appearances and got to the AFC Championship Game three times, but lost each time to Elway's Broncos. Accorsi resigned in 1992.
New York Giants
The Giants made one Super Bowl appearance under Accorsi in Super Bowl XXXV, which they lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-7. They won two NFC East division titles (2000 and 2005) while making the playoffs four times (2000, 2002, 2005, and 2006).
Accorsi's highest profile personnel move came at the 2004 NFL Draft, where he traded Giants first-round draft choice quarterback Philip Rivers and three draft picks (a third-round pick in 2004 and first-round and 5th-round picks in 2005) to the San Diego Chargers for Number 1 overall draft choice quarterback Eli Manning, giving the Giants a young franchise quarterback. The move met with the approval of Giants fans, who cheered loudly when the trade was announced by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
Manning then led the Giants to playoff appearances in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, Manning led the Giants to three straight road playoff victories, culminating in a victory over the then-undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Following the 2011 season, Manning would capture the Super Bowl XLVI title. Manning was named MVP of both Super Bowl XLII and XLVI, validating Accorsi's belief that Manning was a star talent.
Accorsi was also responsible for drafting Osi Umenyiora, Chris Snee, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Brandon Jacobs, as well as signing Antonio Pierce, Kareem McKenzie, Plaxico Burress, and Fred Robbins as free agents. He hired former head coach Tom Coughlin after the dismissal of Jim Fassel following the 2003 season. Accorsi retired in early 2007.
On December 29, 2014, it was announced that Accorsi had been hired by the Chicago Bears as a consultant for their general manager search after Phil Emery was fired. On November 25, 2015, Accorsi was named a consultant for the Detroit Lions' search for a new General Manager.
Special Adviser to the Detroit Lions
After Accorsi assisted the Lions in their search for general manager Bob Quinn, Accorsi was named as a permanent Special Adviser to the club on January 10, 2016
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