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Rivers, Manning forever linked by draft

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Kevin Acee
    November 4, 2009

    SAN DIEGO – For all Philip Rivers and Eli Manning have been mentioned together, they have hardly ever met.

    So much time has passed, and the whole thing never was personal between them anyway. And they don't really play against each other. So this is all a little bit about nothing pertinent, really.

    Except that one will never be extricated from the other.

    “Sometimes rivalries are just naturally built because of where you're drafted,” LaDainian Tomlinson said Wednesday as the Chargers began practicing for Sunday's game against Manning and the New York Giants. “The trade aspect, there is a natural rivalry there with Philip and Eli, as there was with Michael Vick and myself, from the trade (in 2001). Some things follow you your whole career. (Those) two are going to be linked their whole career. That's something you're going to want to watch. I'll be watching.”

    Associated by something they had little to do with – Rivers less than Manning – they're not great friends but neither is there, by any means, animosity between the two.

    Where Chargers fans might still harbor resentment over Manning saying before the '04 draft that he would not play for the Chargers, Rivers has no such reason for rancor.

    Rivers, in fact, sent Manning a text message after the Giants won the Super Bowl two Januaries ago.

    “That meant a lot,” Manning said Wednesday. “He's a wonderful person.”

    In that Manning was rewarded in early August with a six-year, $97.5 million contract extension and Rivers was given $92.25 million for six years less than three weeks later, it's safe to say that both teams are happy with their man.

    The draft-day trade in 2004 – which, by extension, also brought the Chargers Nate Kaeding, Shawne Merriman and Roman Oben – has been dissected several times.

    Yet as they prepare to play in the same game for the first time since the trade sent them to the team that had drafted the other, six seasons into their careers, it is interesting to consider which team got the better of the deal.

    “I don't know,” Manning said with a chuckle. “All I know is I'm happy to be in New York and Philip is happy to be in San Diego.”

    Said Rivers: “I'd like to think we did – in how we've progressed and what we've been able to build here over the past few years. Obviously, we're still gunning for that championship (and) the Giants won it a couple years ago.”

    To that latter point, Rivers acknowledges he does not measure up to Manning – yet.

    “If this were to be our last season, last game, if I was at the end, I'd say I'd much rather trade (places),” said Rivers, who is statistically superior to Manning in almost every category. … But I still see it as halfway down that road, so I think while the urgency is always there to win it every year and push toward it, it's a long deal.”

    An observer who spends much time watching the league's quarterbacks and who will be at Sunday's game as part of the CBS telecast, assessed the strength of both quarterbacks in an interview Wednesday.

    “If I just took their bodies of work and judged them, Philip Rivers has been consistent, at many times dynamic,” said former Giants quarterback Phil Simms. … Of course Eli's got a Super Bowl victory and all that, but I just think on the consistent side of it, Philip Rivers has been such a part of many games of the Chargers and many times – many times – he's the difference between winning and losing. It's really been an incredible start to his career.”

    Their careers immediately took paths as divergent as the cities they ended up in. (By the way, Rivers is grateful he headed west with his wife and their brood, which now numbers four and is soon to be five. He said with a smile, “I think I like it here a whole lot better. It certainly fits me a little more out here.”)

    Rivers sat for two years behind Drew Brees before becoming the Chargers' starter in 2006. Since then, he has won 40 of the 61 games he has started. His 92.4 passer rating is sixth-highest in the league over that span. His 95 touchdowns are fourth-most. He has thrown just 47 interceptions.

    Manning became a starter the ninth game of his rookie season, lost his first six games and has gone 47-26 since. In his 79 starts, he has a 77.2 passer rating, 111 touchdowns and 82 interceptions.

    Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith declined comment on the trade this week, though he is almost certainly as proud of it as anything he has done in this job.

    And certainly, those inside both organizations have more to think about this week than a trade made 5 years ago. The Giants (5-3) have lost three straight; the Chargers (4-3) see this as a landmark game for their season.

    “He and I being linked in that trade, it's fun as a side note,” Rivers said. “I know I won't, and I can imagine he won't have that play into our approach in that game. I've got my hands full with that defense, and what we're trying to do, and I'd imagine he has the same feel for ours.”
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    More to the '04 trade

    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    This has alll been gone over so many times.

    But now is as good a time as any to revist the trade that as much as anything signals the transformation of the Chargers from one of the worst teams in the NFL into one of the best.

    While the story I write for tomorrow focuses on Philip Rivers and Eli Manning, the principals in a draft day trade in 2004, Rivers is among the first to point out that the trade “wasn’t just him for me.”

    The Chargers essentially acquired four players for in exchange for Manning, who again yesterday declined to specifically say why he wouldn’t become a Charger.

    The New York Giants sent to San Diego a third-round pick in 2004 and first- and fifth-round selections in the ’05 draft.

    The Chargers used the third-round pick to take kicker Nate Kaeding, sent the fifth-rounder to Tampa Bay that June for left tackle Roman Oben and the next April used the first-round selection on Shawne Merriman.

    Kaeding is the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history. Oben provided veteran leadership and was a the starting left tackle for the Chargers' 2004 playoff run. Merriman has made three Pro Bowls.

    “Certainly the picks we got with that and the impact those players have made and will continue to make are huge,” Rivers said. “It’s had a big impact on this franchise over the last five or six years.”
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    LT: Rivers-Manning showdown worth watching

    By The Associated Press
    Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 8:08 a.m.
    SAN DIEGO — When Eli Manning and Philip Rivers play at Giants Stadium on Sunday, it'll be the first matchup between the two quarterbacks who were swapped for each other during the first round of the 2004 draft.
    Be sure to watch, said Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, whose spot in San Diego was secured as part of a draft-weekend blockbuster trade, in 2001.
    "There's a natural rivalry there with Philip and Eli, as it was with Michael Vick and myself from the trade," Tomlinson said. "Those two are going to be linked for their whole career. So, as a fan, that's something you want to watch."
    Manning preferred the Giants to the Chargers, who took him anyway with the No. 1 pick, then dealt him to New York for Rivers and a handful of picks.
    Two years ago, Manning led the Giants to a Super Bowl victory.
    "I don't have any regrets," he told San Diego reporters during a conference call Wednesday.
    Rivers said he's happy the Chargers acquired him and two future Pro Bowlers – outside linebacker Shawne Merriman and kicker Nate Kaeding.
    "I think I like it here a whole lot better," Rivers said. "It certainly fits me out here."
    Merriman said he doesn't sense the Chargers harbor any ill will toward Manning for choosing New York over San Diego.
    "I just look at it as another quarterback I need to get on the ground, period, and he's a pretty good one," he said.
    As for the Chargers jersey that Manning got on draft day? "I think my parents have it," Manning said. "I gave it to my mom. She put it in her purse that day, and she has it for a rainy day, I guess."
    NOTES: ILBs Kevin Burnett and Tim Dobbins did not practice because of ankle injuries. ... Tomlinson said Giants fans will razz him, telling him that former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, a Hall of Famer, is the real L.T. "How can you argue?" Tomlinson said. Merriman wears No. 56 partly in honor of Taylor.

    The Associated Press
  4. reddenedbeard

    reddenedbeard Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2006

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