Don't know if this has ever been posted here, but I found this article very interesting....
Sunday, October 29, 2006
BY PAUL NEEDELL
John Elway a Raider?
According to two people with knowledge of a potential pre-draft trade, the Colts had reached a deal to send the No. 1 pick of the 1983 draft to the Raiders -- only to have the deal blocked by NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle.
"We almost had Elway, but Pete Rozelle voided the trade," former Raiders personnel man Ron Wolf told The Star-Ledger last week. "We had the trade set up with Baltimore, but Pete wouldn't let it happen."
Rozelle and Raiders owner Davis spent many years in the 1980s in courtrooms over the Raiders' move from Oakland to Los Angeles, among other issues. Simply put, the two didn't like each other.
Ernie Accorsi, then the GM of the Colts, now the Giants' GM, confirmed a deal was in place with the Raiders that would have netted Baltimore an unprecedented three No. 1 picks and two No. 2s. One of the No. 1s, Accorsi said, would have been the sixth overall, which the Raiders had arranged to acquire from the Bears.
"Yeah, it's never been written, but I was going to make the deal only if it included getting back a top 10 pick," Accorsi said. "I wanted to make sure we still got (Hall of Fame quarterback) Dan Marino. I wasn't going to trade Elway for anything less than the best package ever."
Wolf said he didn't know the details of the almost-trade, but said he was was told by someone in the Colts' organization that "it was much better" than what Baltimore later received from the Broncos for Elway after the draft. That deal included back-up QB Mark Hermann, tackle Chris Hinton and a first-round draft pick.
The deal apparently had been made by Davis and late Colts owner Robert Irsay.
So what happened?
"Irsay capitulated with the commissioner," Wolf said.
Even late Bears general manager Jim Finks was baffled. Accorsi said he called him and said, "Are we getting (played) here? Because somebody's killed the deal, and it's not me."
All parties thought a trade was set for the glamour-boy quarterback to land with the Raiders and Davis.
Irsay was worried that Elway would use his minor-league contract with the Yankees as leverage to never play for the Colts. While Accorsi tried to hold firm and call Elway's bluff, teams often went over the GM's head and called Irsay with offers.
So, before the draft, when someone from the Raiders called Accorsi and said, "Mr. Davis wants to know what it would take to get the rights to Elway," the response was, "You don't have the arsenal."
Accorsi wanted the three No. 1s and a No. 2 -- with a top 10 choice. The Raiders had the 26th choice in Round 1, but were prepared to send Chicago several players to also acquire the sixth spot. Accorsi agreed to accept the Raiders' No. 1 pick in 1984, too.
Everything was in place -- except the final go-ahead from Rozelle. That never came.
"Davis had his suspicions that Pete killed it," Accorsi said. "All I knew was I was going to get the best deal ever or I wasn't trading him."
True to his word, Accorsi didn't trade Elway. Irsay did.
Now, let the record show that all that prevented Elway from becoming a Raider was Rozelle.
That would've been a disaster!!