The 2004 NFL draft was the scene of a huge trade which would impact two teams in a big way and seemingly change the fate of one franchise.
The San Diego Chargers entered as one of the NFL's worst teams with not much going for them other than star RB LaDainian Tomlinson. The New York Giants were a below average team with a need at the quarterback position. San Diego was interested in taking Ole Miss' Eli Manning with the No. 1 overall pick that they held.
The problem was Eli did not want to play in San Diego stating that if the Chargers drafted him, he would go to law school. Chargers' GM A.J. Smith knew the Giants had an interest in Eli, and San Diego was also very high on quaterback Philip Rivers.
A deal was then formed sending Manning to New York and Rivers to San Diego along with several other picks. The picks turned into Linebacker Shawne Merriman, Kicker Nate Kaeding, and a trade that allowed them to pick up Romen Oben, a solid Left Tackle for two seasons.
What happened from there?
Giants: The Giants went on to win the 2008 Super Bowl over the New England Patriots, but other than that, Eli and the Giants haven't done a whole lot.
Chargers: Rivers did not take over the Chargers' offense until 2006.
In his four years as a starter, he has won four AFC West Championships and made four playoff appearances. The Chargers however have been close but not close enough, losing once in the AFC Championship to the Patriots (who the Giants beat in the Super Bowl) and in the divisional round the other three times.
Rivers, Merriman, and Kaeding all turned out to be Pro Bowl players for the Chargers. Eli Manning is a Super Bowl winner for the Giants, something the Chargers have never done in franchise history.
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