ELI AND PHILIP: RIVERS APART
How times have changed. If I offered you Eli Manning for Philip Rivers, a 1st rounder, 3rd rounder and a 5th rounder–what would you say?
The Chargers were able to fill 2 needs in the 3rd round of the 2004 draft by getting the extra pick from the Giants. They selected kicker Nate Kaeding and center Nick Hardwick. Hardwick is in his 3rd year as a starter and Kaeding recently signed a 6-year extension to stay with the Chargers.
In the 2005 draft, after drafting Shawne Merriman with the 12th pick, the Chargers used the pick received from New York to draft Luis Castillo from Northwestern.
So while many Chargers fans loathe Eli, they should love him all the more. They got Rivers, Castillo and Kaeding for him. Wikipedia says that 1st rounder was used on Merriman, but I believe that to be incorrect.
Rivers, Castillo and Kaeding might all make the Pro Bowl this year. Rivers has a passer rating over 100. Manning’s is a respectable 81, but Rivers is the better player.