Why Eli Manning bolted Chargers

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Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning came out of college together and, as the two hot QB prospects that year, compared notes from time to time about their experiences. After they were drafted, Manning told Leaf about how well the Colts organization treated him. They basically bent over backward to make his transition to the NFL as smooth as possible, taking care of all the non-football stuff so Peyton could concentrate on immersing himself into the Colts offense. Manning was stunned to hear that Leaf's experience was completely different. Our golfing partner said that Leaf was basically left to figure it out for himself. If that's true, you combine it with the legendary stories about what an immature jerk Leaf is and begin understand why he crashed so quickly. Again, this is coming from a family friend. Who knows what the Chargers did or did not do for their rookie QB, or whether their management team was equipped to deal with such a high-maintenance player. Regardless of who was at fault for the failed Leaf-Chargers marriage, the allegedly shabby treatment of Leaf stuck with the Manning clan. And, our new golf buddy explained, that's why Archie Manning, the patriarch, threw such a fit on draft day when Eli was picked by San Diego.

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Mako Shark
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You know, that's very interesting. That makes a lot of sense now.
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Interesting, and I can believe it.

I had thought that what provoked that was much more short-term. If you remember, at the time, Drew Brees had been drafted at the top of the second round, only three years earlier, and the fact that the Chargers were basically throwing him under the bus that quickly by drafting another QB in the first round couldn't have been appealing to Archie.

Also, there's the along with the fact that the Chargers, at that point, were a mess, coming off 8 straight losing seasons under 4 head coaches. Archie surely didn't want Eli on a team like his old Saints club that couldn't make the playoffs.

QB: Rivers, Eli
RB: DeAngelo, Maroney
WR: Fitz, Rice
TE: Gates
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Ummmm, isn't the first pick of the draft always by a crappy team?