Friday, November 9, 2012
Ernie Accorsi, a longtime general manager himself and currently the chairman of the General Managers Committee, will have a major hand in developing the future of the Carolina Panthers.
The former Browns (1988-1992) and Giants (1998-2006) GM put together the cornerstones of what became two Super Bowl champions (2007, 2011) in NY, most specifically hiring Tom Coughlin and trading for QB Eli Manning.
Accorsi, 71, was thought to be a potential candidate by a few fan sites, and was mentioned by the Charlotte Observer as a possible consultant. He has a lot of clout in the league, and should provide a steady, influential voice in the process, whereas owner Jerry Richardson has struggled at times with critical hires. At times, there were worries that Richardson would simply promote from within, or place a lot of emphasis on experience within the organization (concerns that a GM who would have to go along with a coach pick of Mike McCoy or Kevin Greene, for instance). Or, that Richardson would get duped into a former coach as a GM prospect, at a high dollar amount and low chance of success.
This removes most of that fear. Accorsi’s findings aren’t going to be binding, of course. He doesn’t work for Carolina and Richardson doesn’t have to listen to him, but it’s almost a guarantee that Accorsi will be doing the legwork for the team and that Richardson would hire an Accorsi candidate.
The timing of the move is about right – Carolina can’t interview anyone in anyone’s front office until after the season; it allows Accorsi to deal with any unemployed candidates (which I would say is both unlikely and a short list) first, and identify targets for the postseason quickly. It’s hard to say if Accorsi will have any hand in evaluation of the current front office staff or coaching staff, since much of that would end up falling to the new GM. Regarding the timing of a hire, it’s hard to say if Accorsi being an unofficial liaison between the Panthers and a future candidate would allow him to talk to candidates; if so, it would have to be informal at best.
Carolina would seem to have a lot of competition for their GM job – it appears Cleveland, San Diego, Kansas City will have openings; it appears that Philadelphia, among others, will have problems with their consolidated power, if nothing else.