Tom Heckert Jr.
July 17, 1967|
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
|Died:||August 5, 2018 51)(aged|
|High school:||Adrian (MI)|
Thomas Heckert Jr. (July 17, 1967 – August 5, 2018) was an American football executive who served as the general manager for the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). In his 27-year career, Heckert was a part of 17 postseason campaigns, 11 division titles, eight conference championship games, three Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl Championship, while with the Denver Broncos.
Heckert played quarterback at Adrian High School in Michigan graduating in 1986. Heckert started his football career as an assistant coach for Hillsdale for two seasons before making his way into the NFL.
Heckert had a 10-year stint with the Miami Dolphins (1991–2000), spending his first nine seasons there as both a pro and college scout. Heckert also served as the Dolphins' assistant director of pro personnel and college scout in 1999, before being promoted to director of pro personnel in 2000.
Heckert first went to the Eagles as director of player personnel in 2001 before being promoted to vice president of player personnel in 2003. He helped Eagles coach Andy Reid assemble a team that went to four straight NFC Championship Games from 2001 to 2004, and to Super Bowl XXXIX. He was promoted to general manager on January 2, 2006. Despite Heckert's title of general manager, Reid served as executive vice president of football operations and had the final say in football matters.
During Heckert’s tenure with the Eagles, the team drafted or acquired 10 players who would go on to earn Pro Bowl status, including kicker David Akers, defensive lineman Trent Cole, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, offensive lineman Jason Peters, cornerback Asante Samuel and fullback Leonard Weaver, all of whom were selected to the 2010 Pro Bowl. Of the 22 Eagles starters at the end of the 2009 season, 13 were draft choices of the team during Heckert’s tenure while two more were signed as undrafted free agents. In fact, three players from the club’s 2009 draft class were among the 13.
On January 11, 2010, Heckert became the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.
On December 31, 2012, Heckert, along with head coach Pat Shurmur was relieved of his duties as Browns general manager by Joe Banner, his former boss with the Eagles. Despite posting by the Browns of a paltry record of 14-34 during his reign as Browns' GM, Heckert, along with former team president Mike Holmgren, are credited by many NFL observers as paving the way for the team, which has the youngest team in the league, for quick improvement in the near future by overseeing solid drafts in the past three years in which they selected high draft prospects and potential All-Pro players such as defensive backs Joe Haden, T. J. Ward, and Buster Skrine, tight end Jordan Cameron, wide receiver Josh Gordon, and defensive linemen Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard.
On May 7, 2013, Heckert was hired as director of pro personnel for the Denver Broncos. Heckert’s job is to scout current NFL players and oversee the team’s advanced scouting for upcoming opponents. On May 4, 2017, Heckert was promoted to senior personnel advisor. Heckert stepped down prior to the 2018 season due to an expired contract and health issues.
Heckert also served on the NFL's College Advisory Committee, which advises college football juniors on their draft status, as well as the league's General Managers Advisory Committee, which consults Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL football operations department on key issues regarding player development, scouting and technology.
Heckert died on August 5, 2018, from amyloidosis.
- "It's Official: Heckert New Browns GM". Retrieved January 11, 2010.
- Rosenthal, Gregg (December 31, 2012). "Pat Shurmur, Tom Heckert fired by Cleveland Browns". NFL.com. NFL Enterprises LLC. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- Fredrickson, Kyle (3 July 2018). "Denver Broncos team adviser Tom Heckert Jr. steps down amid health concerns". The Denver Post.
- "Tom Heckert, former Eagles general manager, dies at age 51". Philadelphia Inquirer. 2018-08-06.