It was fun while it lasted for AJ Smith (the GM for the San Diego Chargers) and San Diego fans. Pick up three of your current top stars for an Eli Manning who didn’t want to play in San Diego. For years, it looked like a great deal. Philip Rivers appeared to be a quarterback on the rise. Shawn Merriman is one of the best in the game right now. To top it off, the Chargers were kicking the Giants and Eli Manning around every time they squared off against each other. Unfortunately, Eli and the Giants are having the last laugh all the way to the Super Bowl.

For years, San Diego looked like it had the better end of the deal. After all, one quarterback couldn’t possibly be as valuable as three Pro Bowl players, right? Well, if we use the Super Bowl as the measure of success in the NFL (which for some strange reason most people seem to do except for AJ Smith) then the Eli trade was one of the biggest mistakes the San Diego Chargers made this century. Sure, AJ Smith had years to talk about how great his decision was because Eli was struggling, and the Chargers were on the rise. But time has shown that AJ’s bet did not payoff.

The Chargers (and all the talent they picked up in the Eli trade) are not going to the Super Bowl, largely because of Rivers’ 2 interceptions and his inability to capitalize on three interceptions the Charger’s defense had against Tom Brady. On the other hand, Eli and the Giants are going to the Super Bowl. The ultimate smack to AJ Smith’s Eli deal would be for the Giants to win the Super Bowl.


  1. Jason Fitzgerald

    Are you kidding with this? The Chargers just barely lose with all of their major stars hurt on the road at one of the greatest teams in NFL history and the Giants win against an overrate Green Bay squad that tried to give them the game more than a few times??? Give me a break…Going to the Super Bowl from the NFC is NOTHING like going from the AFC these days. Get real…start writing if you can beat them in the Super Bowl…Fat Chance!

  2. Sean Fitzgerald (Yes, Jason's brother)

    Surprisingly, I’ll agree with my brother’s take on this, though we all knew this was coming. Eli made it to the Super Bowl first, so AJ’s an idiot. Just a couple MINOR points to bring up:
    1. Granted, Eli is in the big game…but are you really telling me the Giants rode his brilliant play to get there? Please check that last drive Sunday before we anoint him as the next Elway…he didn’t move the ball an inch.
    2. Let’s recall who caused this situation in the first place: She-li and Papa Manning. Let’s not come at this as though AJ initiated the decision to trade Eli, he just made the best trade he could, and you’ll find very few people who don’t think that he got all he could…and many would say the better end of the deal.
    3. Is this REALLY the right time to bash AJ? The Bolts lose LT, Gates, and Rivers and still beat the defending champs on the road? Cromartie, who many thought was a reach, is a budding star (and perhaps already among the top 5-6 corners in the league)? Keeping Turner was criticized at the time of the draft, but who was revisiting that after he rescued the Bolts vs. Indy? The last four drafts have been superb. Gates and Dielman are UNDRAFTED FA’s that have made the Pro Bowl, as is Osgood.
    Say what you will about Sunday’s game, Championship games are always under a microscope and certainly ripe for analysis, but AJ Smith has done an unparalleled job of assembling talent for this team. Now if we can just get someone to trade us a top-3 receiver for a 4th round pick, we’ll really take off! 🙂

  3. AJ certainly tried to make the best he could out of the Manning fiasco. The only problem is that it hasn’t paid off because his choices have not panned out.

    Anyone really want to say that the choice of Kaeding was a steal? C’mon, the guy has lost more clutch games than any other kicker in the game. Remember that Jets game? How about that Patriot’s game? And those kickoffs down to the 20, pulease. Remember the days of John Carney scoring all the points for the Chargers in several games on the road to the Super Bowl?

    I’ll change my mind about AJ when he finally wins the Big Game. Didn’t do it at Buffalo, and can’t do it two years in a row against the Patriots, which are less talented than the Chargers. Just think about it. Three picks on Brady. Three! He throws 8 all regular season, and he’s picked 3 times in one game. Rivers can’t put points on the board. Kaeding can’t kick the ball. That’s all AJ.

    AJ might be great for picks on defense, but his offensive choices for the Chargers have been weak, save a few good choices on the line and Scifres. Chargers would be 8-8 if it wasn’t for Scifres savings Rivers’ ass all season long.

  1. 1 Really, So Much For That San Diego Eli Manning Trade « Jared’s Bloggin’

    […] super sunday, upsets, winners A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog about what has now become a clear mistake by AJ Smith in his recruiting for San Diego. Like is always the case with professional sports, you have […]

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