eli manning chargers
Syndication: NorthJersey

Giants legend Eli Manning explained his reasoning on a recent “10 Questions with Kyle Brandt” podcast episode.

Remember when Eli Manning nearly ended up in San Diego?

The Chargers, of course, selected the then-Ole Miss stud with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2004 draft, only for Eli to want to play elsewhere.

San Diego subsequently traded Manning to the Giants, yada yada yada, the rest is history — you’ve heard the entire story before and I don’t need to bore you with the details.

But have you heard why Eli didn’t want to play for the Chargers?

“It was my decision having talked with my agent, coaches, GMs, and owners,” the quarterback-turned-alternate Monday Night Football broadcaster said during an appearance on the “10 Questions with Kyle Brandt” podcast. “Going through the draft process, I was just worried about the Chargers organization at the time. I felt it was the right decision and I had a little pull. I quietly tried to say ‘hey, please don’t draft me, it can be our secret,’ and they didn’t keep the secret part very well. It wasn’t my Dad. He was trying to take the heat off of me, he knew I was going to get criticized. After that, the Chargers turned it around, they got Shawne Merriman, then Drew Bress started playing great, then Philip [Rivers] started playing great, they went to AFC Championship Games, they’re making the playoffs, and turned things around.”

It didn’t take long for the Chargers to “turn things around.”

Despite missing out on their top quarterback choice, the organization continued with Rivers, who led the team to the playoffs in four straight seasons (2006-09).

It didn’t take long for the Giants to become a winning franchise either.

We all know what happened during Eli’s fourth professional season, the 2007 campaign…

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.