Archie Manning is just what the Chargers needed. He could turn out to be the Saint that saved San Diego.
Manning, once one of the NFL's best losing quarterbacks and now one of America's most overbearing fathers, did the Chargers a great service when he announced that San Diego would not be a good place for his son to play football. All of a sudden, the Chargers aren't facing the pressure of deciding what to do with the first pick of this Saturday's NFL draft.
The Chargers were in a potentially embarrassing spot. You might recall that in 1998 they traded up to draft Ryan Leaf, who would become one of the game's all-time quarterback busts. Three years later, the Chargers traded away the first pick of the draft, which Atlanta used to select Michael Vick. A round later, the Chargers selected Drew Brees, who now officially qualifies as a bust.
Let's get this straight: The Chargers moved up for Leaf, and effectively chose Brees over Vick. Wow! No wonder the Chargers have the first pick of the draft.
But it could've gotten worse, had Manning not shot off his mouth. Instead, Manning has provided the Chargers with a great bail-out opportunity.
Should they ignore Manning's request that they not draft his son, Eli, the Chargers would run the risk of a fourth consecutive embarrassing decision at the quarterback position. And a team attempting to get a new stadium and avoid having to move out of town can't afford another such humiliation.
Take the bail-out, guys. Hey, we wanted to draft Manning but the kid's old man made it impossible.
By citing the Giants as the team for whom he wants his son to play, Manning has put the pressure on Tom Coughlin's club to ante-up and make a trade. And now that the finger has fallen on the Giants, fan pressure could make this a very costly deal. The Chargers could come away with a mother lode of picks that could rejuvenate the franchise, maybe even save it in San Diego.
Eli Manning isn't the kind of player who can do that. He's not a one-man gang. He's not a savior player. His brother may be – some would also ask, what's he won? – but Eli doesn't have that kind of dominant ability.
We may never know, now, whether the Chargers would've actually made Manning their pick. What we do know is that Chargers GM A.J. Smith sure jumped at the opportunity to go public with old man Manning's request that the Chargers not draft his son.
This is going to cost the Giants plenty. Imagine the outrage among Giants fans if their team doesn't make the deal.