It was the twelfth of October 1989. Mike Lynn was on the phone with Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones. They were finalizing what has now become known as ‘The trade’. The trade which sent Cowboys running back Herschel Walker, to the Vikings with three conditional draft picks for three players and three straight up draft picks and five other conditional draft picks is recognized as one of the biggest trades in NFL history. The trade sent the Vikings from the ranks of post season contenders and propelled the Cowboys into three Superbowls. This is part of NFL history. We Charger fans have recently witnessed a trade that could very well turn into one that has a similar effect on two franchises. In 2004 the Chargers were entering the first full draft under new General Manager AJ Smith. Smith who took over in 2003 after the passing of friend John Butler and the draft as his friend had directed. 2004 though was his draft, and he started out by selecting Eli Manning as the number one pick. AJ selected Eli even though the Manning family had decided that the San Diego Chargers were not a worthy of a Manning, and said that their young child will not play for the San Diego Chargers. Eli, the highest an Ole Miss player has ever been picked. Soon after his selection, Manning was traded to the Giants for quarterback Philip Rivers (the No. 4 overall pick), a 3rd-round choice in 2004 and 1st and 5th-round choices in 2005 ending his hour long pout on national TV. Eli was happy, as was Philip Rivers, many new fans from the South Eastern US flocked to the Chargers, promising good things from their young QB. This trade propelled A.J. Smith to the NFL’s 2004 Executive of the Year by Pro Football Weekly, the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA), FoxSports.com and CBS Sportsline.com has put his personal stamp on a team. Smith went on to further solidify the team in 2005 with the Giants draft picks picking up standout Line Backer Shawne Merriman, trade for Roman Oben and take kicker Nate Kaeding, who hit 87.5 percent of his field goal tries in 2005 (21 of 24) for the third-highest single-season conversion percentage in team history. Charger fans in 2006 are starting to see the effects of the trade as in the 13th week of the season the Sand Diego Chargers are tied for the best record in the NFL at 11-2, and are currently the number one seed in the AFC. For just the second time in team history, and first time in over two decades, Charger fans have a realistic chance of seeing a AFC Championship game in San Diego. While the New York Giants have regressed this season and the players find themselves in a position to be sitting at home before the fire in January. San Diego’s version of the trade is yet to be fully realized, but Charger fans are singing the praises of the team that AJ Smith has assembled, and look forward to the team continuing to grow. With the impressive young talent that AJ Smith has been able to assemble is partly due to the San Diego version of ‘THE TRADE’ and it has solidified not only the Chargers as a NFL powerhouse, but AJ Smith as one of the best GMs in the league.