I find it ironic that very few people hold QB Eli Manning to the same standard considering he was drafted by San Diego and he clearly rejected where he was drafted to go as well. Not a criticism of anyone on here per say just an observation.
Eli takes no condemnation at all for what he did in dismissing the Chargers where he was selected to go originally. Considering how the Manning Family is NFL royalty in this country, as they should be, I find it strange that no one in the Manning family faces scrutiny for not going where you were drafted to go. Eli Manning did the same thing John Elway did. Let's be fair here. Thank you.
I was a kid at the time, and a lifelong utterly devoted Baltimore Colts fan. Everything about Elway smacked of arrogant jerk - I didn't like the guy even before the draft. He had leverage which I lived through him actually utilizing - after the draft - loudly and clearly against the Colts. He personally irreparably damaged the franchise. One could easily make the argument that they would still be in Baltimore if not for him - which amongst other things would have allowed me to conceive of seeing a home game once in awhile.
Eli had no leverage what-so-ever, and I don't recall Eli saying anything. It was his father who was in the news. Obnoxious, but largely meaningless. What was he going to do, sit at home without a paycheck? Yeah, right. The Chargers didn't have to do a darn thing.
The actual irony in this situation is the involvement of Ernie Accorsi in both situations - and it's not a co-incidence. The Elway situation was all about Accorsi being bullied and desperate, stuck between two incredibly unpleasant people (Elway and Irsay). The Manning situation was all about Accorsi REALLY wanting Manning, and perhaps wanting to in some way fix an itch that had been torturing him for decades. The trade didn't have to happen, and far from being irreparably damaged, one could make the argument that the Chargers made out like bandits in the deal - with Accorsi once again being swindled.
Regardless, I don't hold this against Eli partially because I couldn't care less, and partially because all sides were delighted with the way it worked out. I don't think that the situations are comparable at all.
If only the Colts had drafted Marino or Kelly instead. Or at least Dickerson - because that way the incomparably incompetent Jim Irsay wouldn't have set back the franchise ANOTHER decade by later trading for him.