Eli Manning reveals why he didn't want to play for the Chargers

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Eli Manning was drafted by the San Diego Chargers with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, but he never played a down for the team because he was traded to the New York Giants.

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2004 NFL Draft first overall pick Eli Manning (right) with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue at Madison Square Garden in New York. Manning was traded to the New York Giants later in the day.
(Photo by Allan Grdovic/Getty Images)

The rumor was Manning didn’t want to play for the Chargers. And for his entire 17-year career, the two-time Super Bowl champion never explained why he didn’t want to play in San Diego. However, during a recent interview on the “10 Questions with Kyle Brandt” podcast, Manning finally publicly spoke about why he didn’t want to play for the Chargers.

Eli Manning poses with a New York Giants jersey with his family during the 2004 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden. Manning was selected No. 1 by the San Diego Chargers then traded to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers.
(Photo by Bob Leverone/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Manning has had previous opportunities to explain why he didn’t want to play for the Chargers. Back in 2013 before the Giants took on the Chargers in San Diego, Manning was asked why he didn’t want to play for the team and his response was, “I forgot.”

Many people believed Eli’s father, Archie, had an influence on him and where he was going to play. However, Eli says that was far from the truth.

“It wasn’t my Dad. He was trying to take the heat off of me, he knew I was going to get criticized,” Eli Manning said on the podcast. “After that, the Chargers turned it around, they got Shawne Merriman, then Drew Brees started playing great, then Philip (Rivers) started playing great, they went to AFC Championship games, they’re making playoffs and turned things around.”

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, and coach Tom Coughlin look at the Vince Lombardi Trophy as they celebrate after the Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14 in the 2008 Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.   
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Manning was drafted by the Chargers but was traded to the Giants one hour later. In return, the Chargers received Philip Rivers, a 2004 third-round pick (that turned into kicker Nate Kaeding), a 2005 first-round pick (used on linebacker Shawne Merriman), and a 2005 fifth-round pick.

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