In this November 8, 2009 photo, Giants QB Eli Manning and San Diego Charges QB Philip Rivers come together at the end of the Giants 21-20 loss Sunday at Giants Stadium.

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Years later, Eli Manning talks about 2004 draft-day trade

After 17 years, a career that led to two Super Bowl victories and a place in the top 10 of a number of all-time quarterback lists, Eli Manning finally talked about why he didn’t want to play for the San Diego Chargers, the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2004.

“It was my decision having talked with my agent, coaches, [general managers] and owners,” Manning said on the “10 Questions with Kyle Brandt” podcast, which was posted Thursday.

“Going through the draft process, I was just worried about the Chargers organization at the time. I felt it was the right decision and I had a little pull. I quietly tried to say. β€˜Hey, please don’t draft me, it can be our secret,’ and they didn’t keep the secret part of it real well.”

At the time, the Chargers hadn’t had a winning season in 10 years and were 1-15 in 2000 – the same season the Giants lost Super Bowl XXXV to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Chargers took Manning No. 1, then traded him within an hour to the New York Giants for No. 4 overall draft pick Philip Rivers and three future draft picks. Taken between them were Robert Gallery at No. 2 to the Oakland Raiders, who turned out to be a bust, and future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Many people long have speculated that Manning’s father, Archie, was behind the play to keep Eli out of San Diego. Eli said that wasn’t true.

“My dad just tried to take some heat off of me,” Manning said. “He knew I’d get criticized, he didn’t love the idea of it at first just because it was going to cause a lot of drama.”

The trade worked out for both teams.

Both Manning and Rivers are the all-time leading passers for their teams. Manning threw for 57,023 yards, Rivers for 63,440 yards in 16 seasons with the Chargers and one with the Indianapolis Colts. Rivers is fifth all-time in passing yards and Manning is eighth.

Manning was a two-time Super Bowl MVP; Rivers was named to the Pro Bowl eight times.

–Field Level Media

February 7, 2020; Pebble Beach, California, USA; Eli Manning (left) and Peyton Manning (right) walk on the 11th hole during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Monterey Peninsula Country Club - Shore Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton, Eli Manning to lead alternate Monday Night Football broadcast

Peyton and Eli Manning will headline a new alternate Monday Night Football broadcast starting this fall, ESPN announced Monday.

The Manning-led broadcast will be shown on ESPN2 and will cover 10 games in each of the next three seasons.

ESPN will continue to air its main Monday night broadcasts on ESPN and ABC.

The Monday Night Football MegaCast will be broadcast remotely and feature other analysts, celebrities and a yet-to-be-named host.

“Offering multiple Monday Night Football viewing options for the next three seasons continues our innovation efforts and provides additional value for our fans,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement. “Peyton and Eli will bring a different approach, delving into conversation about broader, big-picture topics while also honing in on the game, much like fans do when watching with their family and friends.”

Peyton Manning, 45, was a five-time MVP, a two-time Super Bowl winner and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. He played for the Indianapolis Colts (1998-2010) and Denver Broncos (2012-15).

Eli Manning, 40, also won two Super Bowl championships and played his entire 16-year NFL career with the New York Giants before retiring after the 2019 season.

–Field Level Media

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning announces his retirement during a press conference at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in East Rutherford.

Eli Manning Retirement

Eli Manning returns to Giants in front-office role

Eli Manning is back with the Giants in a front-office role, about 18 months after his final game as New York’s quarterback.

Manning, who led the team to two Super Bowl championships, will help staff in the business development, marketing, and community and corporate relations areas. In addition, he will contribute to content development and fan engagement activities, which include a lifestyle series set to debut in the fall.

“For 16 seasons, Eli represented and defined what it meant to be a Giant and we are excited for him to join the business side of our front office,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer, in a news release. “Eli is one of the most beloved players in Giants history. We had a mutual interest in him returning to the organization and we’re thrilled to welcome him back.”

The team also announced Monday that Manning will be inducted into the Giants’ Ring of Honor and his No. 10 jersey retired during a special halftime ceremony Sept. 26 when the Giants host the Atlanta Falcons in MetLife Stadium.

Manning, 40, said he is delighted to accept the new job and to become the 43rd member of the Ring of Honor.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back,” Manning said. “Staying involved with this organization is very important to me. I love the organization, love the Giants and the fans, and so I want to do anything possible to help them out and be a part of it.”

“I’m willing to do anything,” he continued. “But I’m focused on the business side with corporate partners and on community relations, which was always so important to me while I was playing here and is something I’ve placed a high priority on throughout my life. I’m looking forward to seeing where I can make the most impact in helping the Giants achieve their business and community goals.”

Manning joined the Giants in a draft-day trade in 2004 and Giants-record 236 regular-season games — plus 12 more in the playoffs — and never missed a game because of injury. He was the MVP of the Giants’ Super Bowl wins, both against the New England Patriots (2008 and ’12). A four-time Pro Bowl selection and the winner of the 2016 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award, he retired after the 2019 season as the Giants transitioned to the Daniel Jones era.

He set more than 20 franchise records and is the Top 10 in the NFL in several quarterback statistics, including: 57,023 yards passing (eighth), 4,895 passes completed (eighth), 8,119 pass attempts (seventh) and 366 touchdown passes (ninth).

–Field Level Media

Jan 24, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA;  New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning poses for photos with his wife Abby and their children at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss postpones Manning jersey retirement

Ole Miss postponed the jersey retirement of Eli Manning until next season.

The school was scheduled to retire their former quarterback’s No. 10 in ceremonies on Saturday. The postponement was announced on Monday, with Ole Miss citing “the circumstances surrounding this football season.”

Manning, now 39, played for the Rebels from 2000-03 and won the Maxwell Award in his final season, given annually to the best all-around player in college football. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and led the New York Giants to two Super Bowl championships before retiring at the end of the 2019 season.

At Ole Miss, he set or tied 47 single-game, season and career school records. He still holds school career records of 10,119 passing yards and 81 touchdowns.

Manning finished third in the 2003 Heisman Trophy voting, passing for 3,600 yards, 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions that season for the 10-3 Rebels.

He will join his father, Archie Manning (No. 18), and defensive back Chucky Mullins (38) as the only Rebels players to have their numbers retired.

Mullins was left paralyzed by an injury suffered in a game against Vanderbilt on Oct. 28, 1989. He died less than two years later.

–Field Level Media

Eagles have tough task trying to repeat in NFC East

By: Rob Maaddi

PHILADELPHIA (AP) β€” Before they try to become the ninth team to repeat as Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles will try to accomplish another tough task.

Winning consecutive NFC East titles is so difficult it hasn’t happened since the Eagles did it four straight seasons from 2001-04. It’s also been 13 years since the New England Patriots were the most recent team to win back-to-back championships.

On paper, the Eagles are deeper and stronger than the squad that beat Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots 41-33 in February. Franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, playmaking linebacker Jordan Hicks and versatile running back Darren Sproles are returning from injuries that forced them to miss the playoffs.

They also have several new additions, including veteran defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata, and rookie tight end Dallas Goedert.

But the favorites don’t always come out on top and the road won’t be easy for the Eagles in a competitive division.

“Our goal every year is to win the Super Bowl. I can’t tell you how terrifically positioned I think we are,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “It’s a tough, tough league. I don’t think I’ve ever been more fired up for a season than we’re about to undertake, but with a realization that we’re also in the NFC. I compare it to the NBA West. There are many, many teams entering this season that I think can be in the Super Bowl. We have to try to collaborate and grind.”

Standing in Philadelphia’s way will be two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning and the revamped New York Giants, who added running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. The Dallas Cowboys expect to have Ezekiel Elliott for a full season and are looking for Dak Prescott to return to his rookie form after a so-so second season. The Washington Redskins acquired a winning quarterback, Alex Smith, to lead the way.

Things to know about the NFC East:

DOMINANT D: Wentz and a high-powered offense that won the Super Bowl with backup quarterback Nick Foles get much of the attention in Philly, but Jim Schwartz’s defense was dominant last season and should be even better. The front four led by Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham is so deep that Bennett, Ngata and Chris Long are rotational players instead of starters. The Eagles also have plenty of depth in the secondary with Pro Bowl safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerbacks Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills and Sidney Jones. If Hicks stays healthy, this unit should dominate again and make it easier for the offense, which may be missing Wentz for a few games.

OLD MAN ELI: Manning may be the oldest player on the Giants, but he has a new offense-minded head coach β€” Pat Shurmur β€” and a talented cast of skill players to make his job easier. Barkley bolsters the running attack and gives the offense more balance. He joins star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram. A defense that was stellar two years ago still has talent with safety Landon Collins, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, run stuffer Damon Harrison and end Olivier Vernon. If the offense lives up to expectations and the defense returns to form, the Giants could battle for the division.

DEPLETED COWBOYS: Jason Witten retired and Dez Bryant was released, leaving Prescott with fewer weapons. The career of 2016 All-Pro center Travis Frederick is uncertain because of an auto-immune condition, and four-time Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin injured his knee in the preseason, though it appears he’ll be ready for Week 1. Elliott’s success depends on an offensive line that’s the best in the business when healthy. Meanwhile, the defense relies on linebacker Sean Lee. With him, they’re solid, but he has a history of injuries. There’s enough talent in Dallas for the Cowboys to stay in the mix.

ALL ABOUT Ws: Smith is a winner wherever he goes. He was 69-31-1 as a starter for the 49ers and Chiefs since 2011, but only 2-5 in the playoffs. Kirk Cousins put up prolific numbers, but was 26-30-1 with a loss in his only playoff start. Losing rookie running back Derrius Guice hurt an offense lacking talent at the skill spots. Adrian Peterson is nearing the end of his career but has a shot to be a featured back once again. The Redskins will be tough on opponents but don’t have enough pieces to contend.

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, Redskins.

Week 5 Fantasy Disappointments

The NFL and fantasy football are filled with surprises and disappointments. Something shocking is almost guaranteed to happen every week. The potential of chaos at any moment is one of the things that makes fantasy football so much fun to play. These are the three players that disappointed their fantasy football owners the most during Week 5.
Julio Jones
Julio Jones was coming off the sixth best receiving game in NFL history, so he was always going to have a hard time living up to expectations in Week 5. He was also stuck playing against the great cornerbacks of the Denver Broncos that have been able to shut down every great receiver they have faced this season. All of the fantasy football experts had Julio Jones ranked much lower than normal heading into Week 5, but he still managed to disappoint his owners. Jones only had two receptions for a total of 29 yards against the Broncos. The future should be a lot brighter for Julio Jones, but he may struggle to meet his lofty expectations on a weekly basis as the Falcons feature a much more balanced offense than last year.
Lamar Miller
Lamar Miller entered the 2016 season as the consensus 10th overall ranked player in fantasy football. While he has never lived up to this ranking, Miller still produced solid stats in his first four games thanks to a large number of carries each week. While the Vikings have one of the best defenses in the NFL, fantasy owners were still expecting a solid game from Miller thanks to his impressive workload. He severely disappointed by only gaining 20 rushing yards on eight attempts against the Vikings. Despite the horrible start, the upcoming schedule is very favorable for Lamar Miller. If the Texans continue the commitment to the running game they showed in their first four games, then Miller should be one of the more valuable running backs the rest of the fantasy football season.
Eli Manning
Eli Manning had three straight unimpressive games entering his Week 5 contest against the Green Bay Packers. Fantasy owners were still expecting big things from Manning because of the great matchup. The Packers have a great rush defense, but they showed no ability to stop the pass before their game against the New York Giants, who many believed would have one of the most potent offenses in the league this season. Manning only tallied 199 passing yards and one late touchdown against the depleted secondary of the Packers. Unlike the other two players on this list, it is hard to trust Manning in the near future. The terrible play calling of Ben McAdoo will probably limit Manning’s upside the rest of the season, so he is only a desperation play at this point in the fantasy football season.