A.J. Smith Still Believes Trading Eli Was Right Move
The hostility over Eli Manning's decision to snub the Chargers on draft day and demand a trade to the Giants is still alive and well in Chargers GM A.J. Smith's mind. "He was a Charger for 45 minutes, and that was too much time to be a Charger, in my opinion," Smith told the Sporting News.
In 2004 Eli Manning was taken number 1 overall by the San Diego Chargers, however believing as tho the Chargers would never truly be a contender (Ei's father and former Saints' quarterback Archi Manning was the driving force behind that belief), Eli demanded a trade and was swapped with the Giants for Philip Rivers (who was taken 4th overall). The debate for who got the better end of the deal is still waging on. Rivers or Manning?
Rivers has had the better statistical career so far. He has a respectable 97.2 QB rating, 63.7 pass completion percentage, 136 touchdowns, and only 58 interceptions. Manning has a mediocre 80.2 QB rating, 58.0 pass completion percentage, 156 touchdowns, and 113 interceptions. Eli though has a Superbowl ring, leading the Giants past the undefeated Patriots in '07.
Smith however believes that Rivers will eventually lead the Chargers to a championship, all in due time. "I believe with my heart and soul that he (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.”
That last part "great character", is a very questionable statement. Rivers has been none to be a trash talker, and even depicted as simply put, immature, at times. Rivers was famously seen trash talking with Jay Cutler, after the Chargers defense shut down the Broncos on fourth down. Rivers also later took a jab at several Colts fans in Indianapolis as he walked to the locker room after he suffered a knee injury in a playoff game.
Here is Profootballweekly's take on the Manning-Rivers debate...