Philip Rivers may have only been a member of the New York Giants for mere minutes before a draft-day trade sent him to the San Diego Chargers, but the quarterback has joined the chorus of criticism of the franchise’s front office and coaching staff from former members of Big Blue in the wake of the benching of Eli Manning.
“I honestly thought it was pathetic,” Rivers said on Wednesday of Manning’s benching the day prior. “He’s been out there 210 straight games—with no telling how many bumps and bruises and injuries—for his team. He won two Super Bowl MVPs. And with the respect he’s had in the locker room over the years, and really the respect he’s gained throughout the league, you feel like the guy has earned the opportunity—if they are, in fact, deciding to go another direction—he’s earned the opportunity to finish it off these last five weeks.”
The Chargers quarterback added: “I just thought it was too bad the way it was handled. And with Eli, we’re not close buddies, but as a friend and fellow quarterback, it was tough to watch him yesterday. You can only imagine how he felt. And he handled it like a pro, like he’s handled everything.”
Rivers and Manning will forever be linked thanks to the occurrences of the 2004 NFL Draft. Manning was selected first overall by the Chargers, but due to his preference to play for the Giants, who took Rivers with the fourth pick, the QBs were swapped. The Giants also attached their third-rounder, as well as first- and fifth-round picks in 2005.
Rivers and Manning account for two-thirds of a historic first round for QBs.
The 2004 NFL QB Draft Class: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers & Ben Roethlisberger, as of Week 12 in the 2017 #NFL season combined for-
15- Pro Bowls
989- Passing TDs
149,168- Passing Yards
— SteelersKillerB (@SteelersKillerB) November 30, 2017
Sorry, J.P. Losman.