Eli Manning For Philip Rivers Swap Makes Sense…Again


Unquestionably one of the most consistent and accurate quarterbacks in the NFL over the past eleven seasons, Philip Rivers appears to be at a crossroads with the San Diego Chargers.  Rivers has stated that he intends to play out the final season of his contract in 2015 and there has been much speculation that he has been eying a possible departure from San Diego.  For their part, the Chargers are themselves rumored to be interested in trading up to nab Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, a move that would demonstrate that they, too, could be envisioning a future without Rivers.

In a far more understated manner, the Giants seem to have reached an impasse of their own with Eli Manning.  While a number of media members have been reporting –for the better part of two years running– that a Manning extension is both imminent and inevitable, the Giants Professor and GMenHQ have been reporting for nearly two weeks that this extension appears unlikely to happen and that the Giants –concerned about Manning’s erratic nature and age– prefer to have Eli play out 2015 and earn his next contract instead.

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If the Chargers are serious about drafting Mariota and entering a semi-rebuilding mode, there could be no more perfect mentor for the young, raw talent than Eli Manning, who would also serve as a fine one or two year stop-gap option at quarterback.

The Manning family is a believer in Mariota and has already invested in the Heisman Trophy winner.  Not only did Mariota win the Manning Award, given to the best college quarterback each season (whose recipient is, in-part, chosen by the Manning family, including Eli), he was also a participant in the Manning Passing Academy for three straight seasons.

While Mariota spent most of his time at the camp tutoring youngsters, he also took personal instruction from both Peyton and Eli Manning and was held in high regard by father Archie Manning, as well.  There is a real relationship between the Mannings and Mariota.  If the Chargers are able to bring in the highly-touted –but undisciplined– passer, what better way to develop him than with a calm, cool, two-time Super Bowl MVP like Eli Manning.

With an impatient, PSL-holding, New York fan base that has not seen a playoff team since 2011, the Giants have no interest in a rebuilding mode of any sort.  Especially not with budding uber-star Odell Beckham Jr., a wide receiver with limitless talent who is in dire need of an accurate, consistent passer with a strong arm.  Given that prolific caliber of quarterback –something Eli, for all of his hardware, has never been– Beckham Jr. could put up unimaginably monstrous numbers.  Rivers fits what the Giants –and Beckham– need right now, to a tee.

Giants fans do not like to admit things of this sort, but Rivers’ skill-set would offer a clear and significant upgrade from that of Eli Manning, especially at this stage of their careers.  With Beckham Jr. on the very cusp of doing some truly special things, the upside to pairing him with Rivers is far greater than keeping him with the more erratic, and less accurate, Eli.

Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants Professor says: Save your hate mail, Giants fans.  We appreciate and recognize that Eli Manning has given us some special memories that we will never forget. We get it– we lived through Dave Brown, too.  But when you take emotion out of it, few would argue that Rivers is the better thrower and more prolific passer than Manning.

When you can pair that caliber of quarterback with a player like Odell Beckham Jr., incredible things often happen.  So while we look back fondly at the memorable night eleven years ago when we swapped Rivers (and a great deal more) for the little brother of Peyton, the time has come to trade Manning for Rivers… again.

Next: New York Giants Improve 2015 Odds Following Signings

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