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Chargers still sitting pretty from '04 trade with Giants

Discussion in 'American Football' started by RaiderRay, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers...Go Padres, Gulls, Ducks, Raiders Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005

    PHOENIX -- I cannot tell a lie. Most of the time when Mike Freeman and I go head to head on a topic, I'm nervous. He's talented, he's persuasive, and he generally picks the easier side of an argument.

    But today I'm not nervous, because Freeman isn't that good. He isn't that persuasive. He's trying to argue that the New York Giants hoodwinked San Diego in the 2004 trade that essentially saw Giants quarterback Eli Manning be exchanged for four players, including three Pro Bowl performers in San Diego: Philip Rivers, Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding.

    Freeman can't win this fight, and he certainly can't win it against the likes of me. This is Muhammad Ali vs. Chuck Wepner, or Crazy Horse vs. George Armstrong Custer. He's Wepner. He's Custer.

    He's screwed.

    Find a white towel. Can someone please call this off? Freeman's bleeding, and I haven't even started jabbing him with facts.

    Eli Manning led the NFL in interceptions this season and was the league's No. 25 quarterback in passer rating, seven spots behind Rivers. Eli Manning once had three interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same game, setting a Giants record. Eli Manning is perpetually one bad throw, and one bad game, away from going into a shell and never coming out.

    I have not read Freeman's story on this topic in advance, nor will I ever -- for the same reason I don't watch video of Ali-Wepner: gore makes me sick -- but I can imagine his one and only argument: Eli has the Giants in the Super Bowl. San Diego has not been to the Super Bowl since that trade. Advantage, Eli.


    To say Manning led the Giants into this Super Bowl is like saying Trent Dilfer once led Baltimore to the Super Bowl. Sure, Dilfer was there. He made it. So was right tackle Harry Swayne. But Dilfer's numbers that season were pedestrian at best: 59.3 percent accuracy, 12 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, and a 76.6 passer rating.

    Those are unimpressive numbers, because Dilfer was an unimpressive quarterback. And yet proportionally speaking, they are almost identical to the numbers Manning put up this season for the Giants, given that Manning started 16 games to Dilfer's eight in 2000. Manning completed 56.1 percent of his passes, had a 23-20 ratio of touchdowns to picks, and had a 73.9 passer rating.

    Hell, based on the numbers you could argue Dilfer was more effective in 2000 than Manning in 2007.

    But I don't have to make that argument. Mine is much easier: The Chargers robbed the Giants in 2004.

    Look who the Chargers got: Rivers. In two seasons as a starter he has gone 25-7 and led the Chargers to the AFC title game. He played that game, last week in New England, on a shredded ACL in the same knee that had undergone arthroscopic surgery six days earlier. He's a tough SOB, and his career numbers are significantly better than Eli's. But just to be fair, since Rivers wasn't thrown to the wolves as a rookie like Manning was, let's compare just their numbers since Rivers became a starter in 2006:

    Rivers: 61 percent, 6,540 yards, 43 TD, 24 INT, 87.4 passer rating.
    Manning: 57 percent, 6,580 yards, 47 TD, 38 INT, 75.5 passer rating.

    It's all over but the piling on, which I'm about to do. In addition to an exchange of quarterbacks, the Chargers got three draft picks, which they parlayed into Merriman, Kaeding and a trade with Tampa Bay for offensive tackle Roman Oben.

    Since coming into the league, Merriman has made three Pro Bowls in three years and has led the league in sacks with 39½. Kaeding has become the NFL's career leader in field goal accuracy (86.7 percent) as well as the fifth-most accurate PAT kicker (99.52 percent). Oben started at left tackle for 16 games in 2004, the year the Chargers improved from 4-12 the previous year to 12-4 by unleashing an offense that has been among the league's top five in scoring ever since.

    In short, the Giants got Eli Manning, who has never appeared in a Pro Bowl and whose career passer rating of 73.4 is closer to Joey Harrington's (69.4) than Damon Huard's (82.0).

    The Chargers got a Pro Bowl player at the same position -- Rivers -- in addition to the most dominant pass rusher of this era, the most accurate kicker of this era, and a building block of a left tackle.

    I'm not saying the trade went badly for the Giants. Since then they have gone 35-29.

    But I'm saying it went better for the Chargers, who have gone 46-18.

    Why are we even arguing this? Because Manning and the Giants have the good fortune to be in the NFC compared to Rivers and the AFC-bound Chargers, who ran into the New England Patriots one round earlier this postseason?

    This was too easy. I feel empty. Excuse me while I go give Mike Freeman a hug.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

    Jan 10, 2007
    Good read... :tup:

    I would have been pissed if he never mentioned playing in the AFC instead of the NFC, but he finally did. Good stuff.
  3. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

    May 22, 2006
    This is why I have to root for the Giants in the SB - because everyone who looks at that trade knows who came out in the green.

    Whether or not the Giants win, Sheli made it because he managed to be un-Sheli-like long enough for his team to carry him there.
  4. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    the thick vanilla milkshake of truth to my double-double animal style hate-burger :lol:
  5. Ray Dahayder

    Ray Dahayder BoltTalker

    Jun 22, 2007
    "But just to be fair, since Rivers wasn't thrown to the wolves as a rookie like Manning was, let's compare just their numbers since Rivers became a starter in 2006:

    Rivers: 61 percent, 6,540 yards, 43 TD, 24 INT, 87.4 passer rating.
    Manning: 57 percent, 6,580 yards, 47 TD, 38 INT, 75.5 passer rating."

    Not only that, but Manning had the benefit of playing and learning for those two previous seasons while Rivers didn't get to sniff the field in any real action. So, wait another two years and see where Rivers is at and compare his stats then with Eli's now. That will be more relevant.

    Good article. If the Giants weren't in the NFC, they'd be fishing by now.

    What's funny is seeing that Eli isn't even as good as Trent Dilfer!!! :icon_rofl:
  6. boltmanbz

    boltmanbz Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    yes clearly Rivers is the better Qb
  7. BlazingBolt

    BlazingBolt BoltTalker

    Aug 10, 2007
    For a good laugh read the opposing view point column where he extensively quotes Accorsi gushing over Manning, compares Eli to the like of Unitas and Elway, and talks about Eli's amazing ability to lead game winning drives with the game on the line. He also says us not getting Osi Umenyiora some how figures in this, how I am not sure.


    Every angle says Giants, Eli are winners in big trade

    Let's begin this debate about who won the Eli Manning-Philip Rivers mega-deal -- the New York Giants or San Diego Chargers -- with an e-mail from one of the smartest general managers I have ever been around.

    Giants GM Ernie Accorsi. In some ways it is a meticulous, blunt and historical look at that blockbuster 2004 deal that figures so prominently in Super Bowl XLII.

    Though Accorsi is of course biased, everything he states in the following e-mail is accurate. It makes the best case on why the Giants won that deal -- basically Manning for Rivers, Shawne Merriman and kicker Nate Kaeding.

    Since kickers are a dime a dozen the deal is basically Manning for Rivers and Merriman.

    Not only did the Giants win the trade, they won easily. Here is Accorsi's reasoning and why I think he's right, run in its entirety with only punctuation and spelling corrections added.

    The e-mail began with me asking Accorsi what made him so convinced Manning would be worth the draft picks New York gave up to get him.

    "We thought he was the best of the three then (Rivers, Manning and Ben Roethlisberger) and we think he's the best of three now," Accorsi wrote. "People who dwell on statistics in football, just cling to them because they can't evaluate QBs. The job is QB, not passer. Unitas and Namath didn't have good QB ratings. They threw a lot of interceptions because they took risks and had to carry their teams."

    Indeed, if I had to choose the better quarterback of the three, it would be Manning, followed by Roethlisberger and Rivers. Manning, right now, is the better winner (which does seem insane since only a short time ago people were questioning Manning's leadership skills). But Manning has clearly entered another stratosphere, as sudden as that entrance has been, in terms of those leadership abilities.

    "Manning is a winner," continued Accorsi, who is an avid sports historian and baseball fan. "He had proven that in a host of games before this run. Why do we determine whether pitchers belong in the Hall of Fame based on games won but that is not an ingredient of the QB rating? In my opinion, the QB has much more of an influence on the outcome of a game than the starting pitcher. With six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Eli can't turn the game over to Mariano Rivera. He has to finish the game."

    "What difference does it make what we gave up?" Accorsi continued. "You better be right about the QB, but if you are, you can't overpay for a great QB and we think he's going to be a great QB. What would you give up for Elway? What would you give for Montana or Unitas? Just like you can't overpay a great player. (LMAO, did he really just compare Eli to these guys?!?!?!)Can you overpay for Mays or DiMaggio? That's all fodder."

    This is where I disagree with Accorsi slightly. You can overpay for almost any player -- even a Montana or Unitas -- but only if you leave your team barren of talent and draft picks.

    An example of this is the Herschel Walker trade. Dallas received six Minnesota draft picks for Walker. Then coach Jimmy Johnson used two of those picks to draft Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and Pro Bowl defensive back Darren Woodson. Johnson used other picks to make a series of trades to acquire other talents like Russell Maryland. The Vikings were devastated by that deal for years because they drastically overpaid.

    The Giants did not give up that kind of talent or picks. Not even close.

    My friend Doyel might know college basketball better than anyone, as well as the thug-filled, cracked-jaw-fest that is the MMA, but one thing NFL media rooks like him forget when discussing the Giants-Chargers trade is this caveat: The Chargers wanted fierce defensive end Osi Umenyiora to be included in the deal.

    Accorsi said hell no. It was the right move by Accorsi, and Umenyiora has been a force.

    Basically, if the Giants had given up Umenyiora, they might have drafted Merriman. What Accorsi said next is interesting -- and true.

    "We didn't get Merriman," Accorsi said, "we led the league in sacks. Osi is better anyway."

    And as far as we know Umenyiora never failed a performance-enhancing drug test the way Merriman has.

    "These are the facts, in the fourth year the kid has us in the Super Bowl," said Accorsi. "He had a chance under adverse conditions on the road to win the game to get in the Super Bowl and he did it. The other guy didn't. Very simple. All the other arguments are just reasons to fill air time."

    Again, a slight disagreement with Accorsi. Rivers was playing the New England Patriots, a better team than Manning's opponent, the Green Bay Packers. Also, Rivers was impressive by playing without an ACL in one of his knees.

    And in Manning's defense, the physical conditions he played in were far worse than those Rivers faced. Manning's game was the Ice Bowl; Rivers by comparison played in the Nice Bowl.

    The larger point Accorsi makes is nevertheless valid. To me, we have seen all of Rivers' upside. This is the best Rivers is going to be -- a good quarterback but not great. We might be witnessing just the early stages of Manning's rise from good to outstanding.

    In other words, there is far more upside to Manning than Rivers and that in itself makes the trade worthwhile.

    Rivers might one day reach the Super Bowl, too. I'm just not sure he can. However, we know Manning is capable. There are no more questions when it comes to him.

    "Milt Davis, a corner who started for the Colts against the Giants in the '58 sudden death game in Yankee Stadium and now owns a doctor's degree, told me 38 years ago, 'Ernie, you judge a QB on one thing: Can he take his team down the field in the fourth quarter, from behind, with a title on the line and into the end zone. That's what matters.' I came (into the league) under Unitas and that's how I judge quarterbacks."

    "All the people that still knock Eli better settle down for a long period of frustration," Accorsi said. "Because as his brother said today, 'Eli is going to a lot more Super Bowls.' Whether people like it or not."

    And a lot of people -- fans and media -- are uncomfortable with the success of Eli Manning because they predicted he would never be any good.

    "By the way, we drafted Rivers in order to make the trade because that is the QB San Diego wanted," Accorsi said. "We would not have drafted (Rivers). If we didn't make the trade, we would have drafted Roethlisberger. He was our second-rated QB."

    Did the Giants win that trade with San Diego?

    Yeah, they did, and it really wasn't all that close, either.
  8. BlazingBolt

    BlazingBolt BoltTalker

    Aug 10, 2007
    Actually the poll was running about 50-50 on who got the better of the trade. One reason to root for the Pats but I actually hope they both lose.

    If the Giants pulled an upset almost no one would say we got the better of that trade. Don't worry though, Giants have no shot.
  9. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard FORMER Charger fan at 7000'

    Jul 12, 2007
    I saw that, and figured there must be a lot of East Coasters and/or Giants fans, because I can't see how any rational football fan would think the Giants made out better.

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