By Ashley Scoby

The Lions announced Wednesday the team has agreed to work with Ernie Accorsi as a consultant for their permanent GM search. Accorsi has previously served as GM of the Baltimore Colts, the Browns and the Giants, and has been a consultant for GM searches before, most recently for the Bears and Panthers.

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“We’re excited to have him on board,” Lions president Rod Wood said. “This is the next step in the search process. Obviously a lot of the people that we would like to speak to are under contract with other teams so we’re going to be very careful obviously to follow the NFL anti-tampering rules, but this is an important step in the process.”

According to Wood, the NFL recommended a “few people” for the Lions to talk to for consulting work, but Accorsi was the one that stood out.


Accorsi helped Chicago find current GM Ryan Pace, as well as head coach John Fox at the end of last season. Detroit may or may not be adding a head coaching search to the agenda; that decision will be made by whoever is hired as permanent GM. Wood said he would not consider making a decision on head coach Jim Caldwell’s future independently, and that his plan still remained to wait on the GM.

Current Lions interim GM Sheldon White will still remain a candidate for the permanent position, according to Wood.

In Carolina, Accorsi also helped the Panthers hire Dave Gettleman as their GM in 2013. The Panthers are one of two teams in the NFL that remain undefeated this season, at 10-0.

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His previous experiences with search processes, as well as Accorsi’s time as a general manager himself, led to the Lions bringing him into the fold.


“I think the main thing was the reputation that came with him from the prior searches,” Wood said. “I think he’s going to do a great job for us like he did for the other folks, and we’re very, very happy that he was willing to do it. It was something that he does kind of on the side, and we wanted him, and he agreed to do it yesterday.”

Perhaps most famously, Accorsi was the GM responsible for the Giants’ draft day trade for quarterback Eli Manning. He also was responsible for hiring head coach Tom Coughlin, who brought New York a Super Bowl in 2008.

Accorsi also has been a member of the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel since 2012.

According to Wood, Accorsi has agreed to work with only the Lions during this time.

“He kind of works on a handshake basis, but he’s committed to not work for anybody else, and I like the fact that he’s willing to do it that way,” Wood said. “He wants us to be successful. … He’s been around the league for a long time. He likes our franchise. He knew Mr. Ford and really wants to help us, and we’re excited to have him.”

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According to the Lions, Accorsi will not be available to the media for questions at any time during his work with the team.