Although Eli Manning has spent his entire NFL career with the New York Giants, there was a small amount of time back in 2004 when his rights were actually owned by the Chargers, and believe it or not, Manning actually kept the one piece of memorabilia that was produced during his brief time with the team.
Before we get to that though, let's do a quick refresher on how Manning ended up with the Chargers.
During the 2004 NFL Draft, the Chargers wanted to take Manning with the No. 1 overall pick, but Eli didn't want to play for them. As a matter of fact, Manning was so against playing in San Diego that he told the team he would sit out the entire season if they selected him.
The Chargers clearly didn't take the threat seriously or didn't care about it (or both) because they ended up selecting Manning anyway.
At that point, Manning and his family had to pose with then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue for a post-pick photo, and let's just say that if the NFL ever decides to hand out an award for the most awkward draft day photo in league history, that honor will almost certainly go to Manning and his family for the picture below.
As you'll notice, Manning is holding a Chargers jersey in this picture, and although he was only a Charger for 45 minutes before getting traded to the Giants, it turns out that jersey wasn't lost to history, because Manning still has it.
During a recent interview on "The Dan Patrick Show," Manning was asked if he kept the infamous jersey.
"I did," Manning said. "I think my mom had it for a little bit, and I think she tried to, she's like, 'Well we don't need this,' and tried to give it away to somebody."
His mom almost gave the jersey away! However, that didn't happen because Archie Manning ended up stepping in.
"I think my dad wised up and just said, 'You know, let's just hold on to that for a rainy day, it might be a good story,'" Manning said. "So it's in possession, so just to have that for a rainy day."
So there you go, Eli Manning's first NFL jersey still exists, and it's hanging in a Manning-family closet somewhere. Now we just need to know if a Giants jersey was ever produced for Philip Rivers. The current Chargers quarterback was taken by the Giants with the fourth overall pick in 2004, but was only a member of the team for about 10 minutes before the New York traded him to the Chargers.
In the deal, the Giants got Manning while the Chargers received Rivers, a 2004 third-round pick (that turned into kicker Nate Kaeding), a 2005 first-round pick (used on linebacker Shawne Merriman) and a 2005 fifth-round pick.
In a twist of irony to all of this, the Chargers are one of only two teams in the NFL -- not including the Giants -- that Manning has never beaten in his 14-year career (the Colts are the other).