Manning comparison: Peyton vs. Eli
Who's laughing at the San Diego Chargers now?
On a day that opened with the Chargers seemingly in no-man's land, trying to figure out what to do with the first overall pick because of Eli Manning saying he wanted no part of San Diego, the Chargers ended the day with a big, wide grin on their collective faces.
|Eli Manning proves to be an expensive acquisition for the Giants.(AP)|
All along, they loved North Carolina State quarterback Philip Rivers, but they weren't about to use the first pick on him. So they did what Manning told them not to do: They took Eli Manning and held their cards close.
Would they keep him and make an uncomfortable situation even worse, risking Manning sitting out the season? Or would they deal out?
When the New York Giants took Rivers, the two teams worked out a deal to swap the two quarterbacks. The Giants got Manning, the top-rated player on their board, while the Chargers got Rivers.
And a haul of draft picks.
The Giants gave them a third-round pick (No. 65) this year, a first-round pick next year and a fifth-round pick next year.
It was way too much.
Manning is going to be a star, but Rivers is, too. So that will be a wash.
San Diego also gets three additional picks, two of those premium choices, one a potential high first-round choice.
We say high because is there any reason to believe the Giants will be good this year, especially if a rookie is starting at quarterback?
Let's say the Giants go 5-11. That first-round pick will likely be in the top 10. Assuming the Chargers also struggle, it would mean they would also likely be in the top 10, giving them three top 10 picks in the two years.
That's how you build good football teams.
"Eli was our choice and he was going to be a San Diego Charger," GM A.J. Smith told reporters in San Diego. "We were going to do what was right for the franchise. But as things developed, there were some twists and turns and we decided to take a package that is very, very good for the Chargers."
|QBs taken No. 1 since 1998|
|'04||Eli Manning, Ole Miss||Chargers|
|'03||Carson Palmer, USC||Bengals|
|'02||David Carr, Fresno St.||Texans|
|'01||Michael Vick, Va. Tech||Falcons|
|'99||Tim Couch, Kentucky||Browns|
|'98||Peyton Manning, Tenn.||Colts|
|* DE Courtney Brown was No. 1 in '00|
The move to get Manning by New York has the fingerprints of Giants GM Ernie Accorsi. He is a big quarterback guy, which we can understand, but giving up that ransom to get Manning is too much. Knowing new coach Tom Coughlin, there is no way he would make that type of deal, so he must have just agreed to this one because he had no choice.
Coughlin values draft picks like he does his own children, so peddling off a future first-round pick is not his style.
The thing is, he may be the one who has to live with all this -- not Accorsi.. There is word that Ernie is set to walk away after the season to retirement, leaving Coughlin holding the bag for this move.
There was some thought that San Diego's front office and coaching staff could be in serious jeopardy after this season if they struggled. That still could be true with coach Marty Schottenheimer, but Smith deserves all kinds of kudos for the way this all turned out. Somehow, his bad situation doesn't look so bad anymore.
Smith may have made some rookie mistakes along the way, such as letting the news out that Manning didn't want to play in San Diego, but the end result is one heck of a day for the Chargers.
Laugh at them? Not on this day.
They might be in trouble, though? What's the penalty these days for robbery?
They're certainly guilty of that.