Blog Entry

Chargers GM talks Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade

Posted on: July 1, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 4:12 pm
 
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Chargers general manager AJ Smith is known as much for his ability to identify talent and assemble a roster as he is for his sometimes stubborn disposition.

He refused to give wide receiver Vincent Jackson a new contract last offseason, and Jackson ended up holding out for the first two months of the season. When Jackson finally returned in Week 12 (he had to first serve a three-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy), it was without a new contract but the Chargers were 6-5. They would eventually miss the playoffs, and although most of that was because of their dreadful defense special teams, Jackson's absence certainly didn't help.

(Edit: the commenters rightly point out that it was special teams -- not the defense -- that cost the Chargers a shot at the playoffs last season. My brain was thinking "special teams" but my fingers typed "defense." To hammer home the point, Football Outsiders ranked San Diego offense fourth, their defense seventh, and special teams ... 32nd.)

In 2005, Smith placed Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates on the "roster exempt" list for the season opener against the Cowboys because Gates wouldn't sign his one-year exclusive rights free-agent offer of $380,000. The two sides eventually came to a resolution but not before San Diego lost to Dallas. The most famous example of Smith vs. uncooperative Chargers player came the year before, when the team selected Eli Manning with the first-overall pick of the 2004 draft even though Manning said he'd rather sit out the season than play in San Diego.

Smith, undeterred, drafted Manning anyway. About an hour after Manning stood on stage with that "Did this really just happen?" look on his face while holding a Chargers jersey, Smith traded him to the Giants for Philip Rivers, and draft picks that would later become Shawne Merriman, Nate Kaeding and Roman Oben.

Despite the Chargers getting the most out of that trade, all most people remember is that Manning and the Giants won a Super Bowl in 2007. In a recent interview with Sporting News, Smith talked about Rivers and Manning. 

"I believe with my heart and soul that [Rivers] one day will lead the Chargers to a world championship," Smith said. “He’s a great quarterback—a phenomenal leader with great character, great work habits.”

No one disputes that. In fact, Football Outsiders ranked Rivers as the NFL's third-best quarterback in 2010, behind Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Eli ranked 16th, behind Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco, Kyle Orton and Matt Cassel. If nothing else, it reinforces the importance of surrounding your franchise quarterback with playmakers at the skill position and a good defense.

As for how Smith feels about Manning seven years after drafting him … well, let's just say he's still a little bitter. "He was a Charger for 45 minutes and that was too much time to be a Charger, in my opinion."

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Comments
fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 4:05 pm
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hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 10:10 pm
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:00 pm
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Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: July 3, 2011 6:43 am
 

Chargers GM talks Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade

Big Ben is the best.



Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2011 1:13 pm
 

Chargers GM talks Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade

Total team play has nothing to do with rating the better qb from that draft.
Clearly Big Ben has had the better of the situation while Eli had one strong team for a season as well. SD had thiers and blew it with poor coaching and missed field goals down the stretch.

The truth is to be a great qb now days you need rings! just ask Dilfer,
(sarcasim)
If your gonna judge by rings then your saying Big Ben is better than P.Manning.
This is why rings are the stupidest way to judge grreat qb's.

1.Rivers
2. Ben or Eli would fit in this spot.

Rivers will be there soon enough.
P.Manning needed a few extra years to get there as well but he did get there.
Go Boltz




Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2011 9:10 am
 

Chargers GM talks Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade

Regarding SB performances.  Ben has at least got there (unlike rivers).  Leading up the SB40 against the seahawks.. he tore through the teams against him especially denver.  So what he choked a bit and still won.  In 2008.. it was all on him at the end and again it was a masterful final drive that won the game.  Last year, his receivers, defense and running back let him down.. still they had a shot to win and came up short.   Common denominator.. the steelers were there.. where was rivers and Eli for that matter?  Playing golf? 



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: July 1, 2011 9:01 pm
 

Chargers GM talks Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade

Football Outsiders rated Rivers rated ahead of Brees and Rodgers?!?

Well, that's credibility that is right out of the door...

Who put's money up for these morons?!?



Since: Feb 13, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2011 6:19 pm
 

Chargers GM talks Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade

The first Super Bowl against Seatle, the Steelers won with a horrible performance by Ben.  Last year they lose with a poor performance by Ben.  Two sub-par performances by Ben.  He was very good against the Cardinals, but still loses if it isn't for arguably the biggest defensive play in Super Bowl history.  Big Ben is a Big Bully off the field. 



Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2011 5:46 pm
 

Chargers GM talks Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade

You wasted Junior.

Disagree on this one. Junior's situation happen on the late John Butler's watch.





Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2011 5:14 pm
 

Chargers GM talks Eli Manning-Philip Rivers trade

"I believe with my heart and soul that [Rivers] one day will lead the Chargers to a world championship," Smith said.

Now there's a man living in fear of his job. So, Smitty, what have the Chargers won on your watch with Phillip?

You've made the playoffs 4 out of 5 years that he's been under center. The AFC Less division. Whooppee! No rings.

The Giants would have won in 2007 with Kerry Collins or Kurt Warner. So what? Where's the rest of YOUR team?

You wasted Tomlinson.

You wasted Junior.

You're almost done wasting Merriman.

You've hired the lamest, most spineless coach in the game.

You're a Phys Ed teacher who is fortunate to have an idiot for an owner who confuses bellicosity with brilliance. Get lost. Soon.




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