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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 from 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
Accorsi joined the Giants in 1994 and served as an assistant to the general manager, legendary George Young, until he succeeded Young in 1998.
Accorsi's highest profile personnel move came at the 2004 NFL Draft, where he traded Giants first-round draft choice quarterbackPhilip 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.
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.