Eli Manning finally reveals why he refused to play for Chargers after they took him with the top pick in 2004

It has been 17 years because the Chargers made Eli Manning the No. 1 general choose within the 2004 NFL Draft, and to at the present time, the two-time Super Bowl winner has by no means actually defined why he did not wish to play for them, however that modified this week. 

Throughout an interview on the “10 Questions with Kyle Brandt” podcast, Eli lastly revealed why he refused to play for the Chargers, who have been then situated in San Diego. 

“It was my choice having talked with my agent, coaches, [general managers] and house owners,” Manning stated. “Going via the draft course of, I used to be simply frightened concerning the Chargers group on the time. I felt it was the suitable choice and I had somewhat pull. I quietly tried to say ‘Hey, please do not draft me, it may be our secret,’ they usually did not maintain the key half very nicely.”

On the time, Manning was represented by Tom Condon, who additionally represented the Chargers coach on the time (Marty Schottenheimer), the quarterback on the time (Drew Brees) and the group’s star working again (LaDainian Tomlinson), so Condon possible had a very good feeling for a way Manning would have match it in. Again in 2004, the Chargers additionally have been gaining a repute as a spot younger quarterbacks ought to keep away from: Drew Brees had a tough first two seasons in San Diego and that got here shortly after the group’s debacle with Ryan Leaf, who was the No. 2 general choose within the 1998 NFL Draft. 

Resulting from these two issues plus a couple of different elements, Eli felt that San Diego was a lower than ideally suited touchdown spot. 

Manning had loads of alternatives to elucidate why he did not wish to play for the Chargers throughout his profession. As an example, earlier than the Giants performed in San Diego in 2013, Eli was asked why he didn’t want to play for the Chargers.

His reply?

“I forgot.”

Now that he is retired, he is clearly not frightened about offending anybody, which is probably going one motive why he was prepared to open up concerning the topic now. Through the years, the idea was that his dad, Archie Manning, talked him out of going to the Chargers, however Eli says that merely wasn’t the case. 

“It wasn’t my Dad. He was making an attempt to take the warmth off of me, he knew I used to be going to get criticized,” Eli Manning advised Brandt. “After that, the Chargers turned it round, they obtained Shawne Merriman, then Drew Brees began taking part in nice, then Philip (Rivers) began taking part in nice, they went to AFC Championship video games, they’re making playoffs and turned issues round.”

The 2004 draft ended up being one of the crucial dramatic ones in NFL historical past. Simply days earlier than the draft, Manning’s agent (Condon) advised the Chargers that Eli would sit out your entire 2004 season if the group drafted him with the primary general choose.

The Chargers ended up ignoring the menace they usually determined to take Eli with the highest choose anyway. Though Manning would get traded to the Giants lower than an hour later, he did find yourself posing for what’s going to possible go down as essentially the most awkward draft day picture in NFL historical past.

Eli Manning positively did not wish to play for the Chargers. 
Chris Trotman, Getty Photographs

That is the closest factor to a hostage picture that we’ll in all probability ever see on the NFL Draft. 

Shortly after the picture was taken, Manning was traded to the Giants. Within the deal, the Giants obtained Manning whereas the Chargers acquired Rivers, a 2004 third-round choose (that became kicker Nate Kaeding), a 2005 first-round choose (used on linebacker Shawne Merriman) and a 2005 fifth-round choose. 

One twist on this story is that Eli really stored his Chargers jersey, which is a piece of information he revealed back in 2018

In a candy little bit of irony, the Chargers ended up as one among two groups that Eli confronted however by no means beat throughout his 16-year profession. Manning went 0-4 in opposition to the Chargers and 0-4 in opposition to the Colts (He additionally by no means beat the Giants, however he by no means confronted them since he spent his complete profession in New York). 

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/information/eli-manning-finally-reveals-why-he-refused-to-play-for-chargers-after-they-took-him-with-the-top-pick-in-2004/ | Eli Manning lastly reveals why he refused to play for Chargers after they took him with the highest choose in 2004


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