Ernie Accorsi
Personal information
Born: (1941-10-29) October 29, 1941 (age 82)
Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Career information
College:Wake Forest
Career history
As an executive:
As an administrator:
Career highlights and awards
Executive profile at PFR

Ernest William Accorsi Jr. (born October 29, 1941)[1] is an American former professional football executive. He served as the general manager of three teams in the National Football League (NFL): the Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, and New York Giants.

Education and early career

A 1963 graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and membership in Theta Chi. [2] Accorsi served in the U.S. Army[3] before getting his start in sports as a reporter for The Charlotte News.[4] He later wrote for The Baltimore Sun and The Philadelphia Inquirer before moving to the athletic departments at Saint Joseph's University and then Penn State.[5] He served as Penn State's Assistant Sports Publicity Director in the late 1960s.[6]

Pro football career

Accorsi began his NFL career in 1970 with the Baltimore Colts as its director of public relations,[7] and worked on then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle's staff in the league office from 1975 before rejoining the Colts two years later as an assistant general manager.[8]

Baltimore Colts

Accorsi was promoted to general manager of the Colts in 1982.[9] 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.[9] 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.[10] However, it was not Accorsi, but the team owner Bob Irsay who made the trade. “If another team wanted to draft [Elway], it would have had to fork over three first-round draft picks in exchange. That was Accorsi's price. When no other team met it, the Colts drafted him. Elway said the Colts had wasted a draft choice. He would play baseball. 'I covered minor league baseball when I was a sports-writer,' Accorsi said. "Elway wasn't going to give up a chance at the Hall of Fame to play in Greensboro, North Carolina, which is exactly where he would have been sent. If we'd been patient we could have signed him." Instead, Irsay traded him within a week, without consulting either Accorsi or [then head coach Frank] Kush. Denver gave up its own No. 1 pick in 1983 (offensive lineman Chris Hinton), its first pick in the 1984 draft and quarterback Mark Herrmann.[11]

The team finished 7–9 in 1983, but that would be their last season in Baltimore.[9] Accorsi resigned as GM after the 1983 season, just before the team's move to Indianapolis.[12]

Cleveland Browns

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.[1] Accorsi was responsible for the acquisition of quarterback Bernie Kosar in the 1985 supplemental draft.[13] 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.[14] Accorsi resigned in 1992.[15]

New York Giants

Accorsi joined the Giants in 1994 and served as an assistant to the general manager, legendary George Young,[16] until he succeeded Young in 1998.[17]

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).[14]

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.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20] Accorsi retired in early 2007.[21]

Although not a member of the staff in 2007, Accorsi was given a Super Bowl ring after the Giants win against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Consultant career

On November 9, 2012, Accorsi was hired by the Carolina Panthers as a consultant after general manager Marty Hurney was fired.[22]

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.[23] That search resulted in the hiring of Ryan Pace.

On November 25, 2015, Accorsi was named a consultant for the Detroit Lions' search for a new general manager.[24]

Accorsi was named as a special adviser to the team on January 10, 2016, after he assisted the Lions in their search for general manager Bob Quinn.[25]

On December 4, 2017, John Mara stated in a press conference that Accorsi would assist the New York Giants in hiring a replacement for former general manager Jerry Reese.[26]

On January 9, 2019, Michael Bidwill stated in a press conference that Accorsi had assisted the Arizona Cardinals in hiring Kliff Kingsbury as head coach.[27]

Personal life

Accorsi served as an analyst for the NFL Network coverage of the 2008 Senior Bowl.[28]

See also


  1. ^ a b "The DAILY goes One-On-One with Former NFL GM Ernie Accorsi, article, March 1, 2007, accessed April 28, 2012". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  2. ^ Shutt, Steve. "Writing His Ticket to the NFL," Gold Rush (Wake Forest University Athletics), February 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2019
  3. ^ Rosenthal, Ken (November 10, 1995). "Ernie Accorsi knows, and feels, Cleveland's pain". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  4. ^ "Ernie Accorsi". Maxwell Football Club. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  5. ^ Steadman, John. "Accorsi deserves once-in-lifetime shot with Giants". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  6. ^ Juliano, Joe. "Ex-Giants GM, Paterno formed a fast friendship". The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  7. ^ Pierson, Don. "ERNIE ACCORSI IS THE GIANTS' GM BUT HAS TIES TO BALTIMORE'S STORIED FOOTBALL PAST". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  8. ^ "THE DAILY Goes One-on-One With Former NFL GM Ernie Accorsi". American City Business Journals, Inc. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Kaptain Kirk (March 7, 2011). "The Deal of the Century and How John Elway became a Bronco". SB Nation.
  10. ^ Blanchat, Jack (May 3, 2012). "Football: A look back at Stanford's other No. 1 picks". The Stanford Daily.
  11. ^ "NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON'T". December 15, 1986.
  12. ^ Pierson, Don (January 19, 2001). "Ernie Accorsi Is The Giants' Gm But Has Ties To Baltimore's Storied Football Past". Chicago Tribune.
  13. ^ Grossi, Tony (October 3, 2012). "Former Browns GM Ernie Accorsi bucked Giants conservatism in trading for QB Eli Manning". ESPN. Archived from the original on 2014-07-26.
  14. ^ a b "Ernie Accorsi". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  15. ^ Smith, Timothy W. (May 3, 1992). "Shake-Up in Cleveland? No, Just a Resignation". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Steadman, John. "Accorsi deserves once-in-lifetime shot with Giants". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  17. ^ Andersen, Dave (9 January 1998). "Sports of The Times; Accorsi Can Always Refer to the Log". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  18. ^ Stites, Adam (16 April 2019). "How a 'shadow' helped set up the Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade, according to the GMs who made it happen". Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  19. ^ Orr, Conor (December 5, 2013). "Eli Manning–Philip Rivers trade: 10 years later, Ernie Accorsi knows he made the right call". The Star-Ledger.
  20. ^ Paul Schwartz (January 14, 2004). "Accorsi: Well Didn't Push Me To Coughlin". New York Post.
  21. ^ "Reese's Rise Fit For King. Named Big Blue GM". New York Daily News. January 16, 2007. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  22. ^ "Ernie Accorsi hired by Carolina Panthers as consultant". National Football League. 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  23. ^ Gantt, Darin (December 29, 2014). "Bears bring Ernie Accorsi in to consult, squatting on staff".
  24. ^ Rothstein, Michael (10 January 2016). "Ernie Accorsi sticking with Lions as special adviser". ESPN, Inc. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  25. ^ Simmons, Howard (10 January 2016). "Former Giants leader now with Lions front office - Ernie Accorsi to stay on as advisor in Detroit". New York Daily News. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  26. ^ Kratch, James (4 December 2017). "Ernie Accorsi will consult Giants in general manager search, John Mara says". Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  27. ^ @kentsomers (9 January 2019). "Ernie Acorsi assisted Cardinals with..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  28. ^ "All-American Connor Set to Play in 59th Senior Bowl". College Sports Television. January 21, 2008. Archived from the original on April 16, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.