Eight years ago, the Manning family made a power play aimed directly at the man who holds all of it in San Diego. The Chargers had the first pick in the 2004 draft, G.M. A.J. Smith wanted to take Eli Manning, and Manning family patriarch Archie made it clear that Eli wanted no part of the franchise.
Faced with the prospect of playing Eli’s older brother twice this year, with Peyton possibly joining either the Broncos or the Chiefs, Smith doesn’t seem concerned.
“I don’t know, and I really don’t care,” Smith told Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego. “I concentrate on the Chargers.”
And then it appeared that Smith tried to make it better, until he decided to take a more subtle slap.
“I do wish him the best in whatever the Manning family decides,” Smith said. “I don’t know why you would ask me. And I don’t know why anyone is asking Peyton. If you really want to know what’s going on — what trips he’s making and where he’s going to play — call Archie.”
It makes no sense for Smith to gratuitously antagonize Peyton. As Acee points out, the Chargers are 5-1 in their last six games against Peyton, generating 15 interceptions and allowing only 11 touchdowns.
Whenever Peyton plays the Chargers again, don’t be shocked if that record falls to 5-2.