Ryan Leaf: My dad warned Archie Manning the Chargers wouldn’t support Eli

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Ryan Leaf’s connection to the Manning family goes far beyond his status as the No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft after Peyton Manning was chosen first overall: Leaf says that when Eli Manning was drafted by the Chargers but refused to play for them, forcing a trade to the Giants, it was in part because of Leaf’s experience as a draft bust with the Chargers.

Leaf recently revealed that Archie Manning called his dad before the 2004 NFL draft and asked of the Chargers, “What did they do to help support your son?” When Leaf’s dad said the Chargers hadn’t done enough to help Leaf develop, Archie became convinced that San Diego was the wrong place for Eli.

“Archie and his family had called my father and wanted to know how they treated his son, and that was a huge part of it. Because even as poorly as I behaved, there was no support,” Leaf told Pat McAfee.

Leaf said his dad’s conversation with Archie wasn’t the only reason Eli spurned the Chargers, but it was part of a broader sense the Manning family had that the Chargers weren’t going to be the right place for Eli to land.

“The only leverage a rookie quarterback has in this day and age is to simply say, ‘I’m not gonna play,'” Leaf said.

That’s the leverage Eli used, and why he was traded to the Giants an hour after he was drafted.

28 responses to “Ryan Leaf: My dad warned Archie Manning the Chargers wouldn’t support Eli

  1. This big baby’s meltdown was epic and will most likely never be matched but definitely never forgotten.

  2. Football is the ultimate team game. The QB needs support but is also your leader. I don’t think Rivers not winning it all is a result of lack of support. He has never had a great team around him, or NE or some other team has just been better. Ryan Leaf had the maturity of a 12 yr old – THAT was a big reason he imploded.

  3. Ryan Leaf wouldn’t have been successful anywhere. He had too big of an attitude to listen to anyone.

  4. grant35 says:
    March 7, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Football is the ultimate team game. The QB needs support but is also your leader. I don’t think Rivers not winning it all is a result of lack of support. He has never had a great team around him, or NE or some other team has just been better. Ryan Leaf had the maturity of a 12 yr old – THAT was a big reason he imploded.

    He had a great team around him in 2006. They had Brady and the Pats, on the ropes, in their playoff game. Unfortunately,on 4th down late in the game, instead of dropping the ball, the Chargers defensive player (can’t remember his name), intercepted, ran it back, and then fumbled. Patriots recovered, but the Chargers never did.

  5. I thought Eli looked like a real jerk, and his father absolutely a Bigger jerk when Eli refused to play for San Diego. But they were right.

  6. Well, we have more confirmation than ever that the reason Leaf was a spoiled brat is his Dad always blaming others, it’s never my boy’s fault, yadda yadda yadda. Everyone knew some snot nosed rich kid numb skull with the same problem.

  7. Ryan Leaf and Johnny Manzeil had the attitude that the NFL had to adapt to them, instead of the realization that they had to adapt to the NFL. Leaf is long out of the NFL, Manzeil will soon be, for the most part forgotten as well. Both gone for the betterment of the league.

  8. The NFL is not the army. You do not have to go if you are drafted by a certain team. Think what you want about Eli and Elway but they were right in the end.

  9. Football is the ultimate team game. The QB needs support but is also your leader. I don’t think Rivers not winning it all is a result of lack of support. He has never had a great team around him, or NE or some other team has just been better. Ryan Leaf had the maturity of a 12 yr old – THAT was a big reason he imploded.

    He had a great team around him in 2006. They had Brady and the Pats, on the ropes, in their playoff game. Unfortunately,on 4th down late in the game, instead of dropping the ball, the Chargers defensive player (can’t remember his name), intercepted, ran it back, and then fumbled. Patriots recovered, but the Chargers never did.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    That was Marlon Mcree, just another cog in the disappointment machine that is the Chargers. The following years when they made the playoffs and had great rosters and records, but were booted out at home by the Mark Sanchez led Jets when Nate Kaeding missed 4 field goals. The Jets had a hell of a defense that year, getting into FG territory that often was a solid drive. I believe they also met the Patriots in Foxbrough for the AFC Championship and had just beaten the prime Manning led Colts, at the expense of Ladainian Tomlinson’s toe and River’s ACL which was torn. Still made it a competitive game, but without one of the best RBs of all time and a hobbled QB, you have no chance against that 2007 Pats team with Randy Moss, Welker, Brady not to mention that defense.

    Eli Manning made big plays in the playoffs, maybe things would be different if he was at the helm in San Diego/LA, or maybe the team around him would have let him down too. Who knows.

  10. Eli made the right decision. As a Chiefs fan I watched Marty Schottenheimer have no idea to evaluate the QB position, plus he hated young quarterbacks. Eli would have sat on the bench for at least three years and Marty would have done nothing to develop him.

  11. I grew up in San Diego and was a die hard Charger fan. The owners the Spanos family are not good people and have treated players, employees, fans, city of San Diego and others horribly. None of this is surprising to me. They are the worst.

  12. The Spanos family wasnt the best at ownership but Manning had the talent in SD to win. Maybe Father Archie, didn’t like Schottenheimer or felt Eli would have to sit awhile behind Drew Brees, but something was amiss … The Chargers had the talent to go all the way but just couldnt get it done. As a QB though, I would have much preferred throwing in cool ole, Jack Murphy Stadium than the Meadowlands …

  13. Newbaum Turk says:
    March 7, 2020 at 12:08 pm
    Eli made the right decision. As a Chiefs fan I watched Marty Schottenheimer have no idea to evaluate the QB position, plus he hated young quarterbacks. Eli would have sat on the bench for at least three years and Marty would have done nothing to develop him.
    ———-
    False. Marty started Drew Brees for 4 consecutive years, then the Chargers decided to jettison Brees in favor of Rivers, whom himself, was a young QB.

    To prove the Leafs’ point, look no further than Drew Brees: They gave up on him after 3 years, drafted Rivers, then let Brees walk.

    All Brees has done since is win a Super Bowl and cement a Hall of Fame Career.

    The Leafs’ were correct and Eli was a beneficiary of their advice.

  14. I’m guessing that Archie’s experience of being stuck on an absolutely terrible Saints team for the bulk of his career had a lot more to do with it than Ryan Leaf’s Dad. The Mannings are also business people and they knew that San Diego wasn’t much of a football town to begin with.

  15. To me this just proves eli and archie knew eli was never good enough to make the players around him better like an elite QB such as elway or his brother. They had to mane sure eli was on a team with players to hold up eli or he would fail. Explains his perfectly average 117-117 record. And shut up about rings that’s a team accomplishment. Hes still not a better QB than Marino or Jim Kelly.

  16. Ryan Leaf learned the hard way and has done a tremendous job turning his life around. Well spoken, knowledgeable, and a great analyst. Now the way the Chargers dissed Philip on his way out is just typical of this family and the management team they have in place. Rivers started so many games and kept them in contention in almost every game they played and yet what do they do? Not even a fond farewell which I imagine might come after his playing days are over but in reality he owes them nothing but they owe him everything. Now that he’s gone from the Chargers who really follows this team? It sure ain’t the people in LA and now with his departure very few in SD give a …. about that team. Nice job, Spanos family, et al, you deserve all the crap you’re buried in. I hope Bosa breaks the bank on you.

  17. “The Chargers are run by the cheapest family in sports.”
    =========

    Uhm yeah except for that’s not true. Not even close. Lots of cheaper owners in sports. For example there’s this guy named Bob Nutting who owns the Pittsburgh Pirates. He makes Dean Spanos look like a spendthrift.

  18. “…but in reality he owes them nothing but they owe him everything.”
    ===

    Uhm, excuse me but pretty sure they paid him what the agreed-to contract stipulated. Don’t see how they owe him anything.

  19. Rivers had plenty of help over his career, don’t give me that. Gates, Tomlinson, Merriman, Weddle, Cromartie, Allen, Jackson, Mike Turner, Gordan, a solid OL for the most part especially in the late 00’s, Malcolm Floyd, Bosa etc etc…

  20. Nate Kaeding. We have full circle. Or some facsimile.

    He was the ‘other’ pick besides Rivers for Manning ’04. Plus Shawne ‘Pancaked’ Merriam in ’05.

    So trading Eli for a Rivers and kicker who was good but not when it was most important, was the reason they never won the big one. We’ll call Eli and Rivers a ‘wash’ (very debatable, I know). Merriam had did have 3 great years.

    PS: I honestly believe they picked Kaeding one slot about Hartwig to save 200K. Kicker gets less ’cause he’s a kicker and elated to be a 3rd rounder; The center gets less because it’s one less draft slot. THAT is how CHEAP thinks.

  21. Mitch Kumstein says:
    March 7, 2020 at 1:25 pm
    Newbaum Turk says:
    March 7, 2020 at 12:08 pm
    Eli made the right decision. As a Chiefs fan I watched Marty Schottenheimer have no idea to evaluate the QB position, plus he hated young quarterbacks. Eli would have sat on the bench for at least three years and Marty would have done nothing to develop him.
    ———-
    False. Marty started Drew Brees for 4 consecutive years, then the Chargers decided to jettison Brees in favor of Rivers, whom himself, was a young QB.

    To prove the Leafs’ point, look no further than Drew Brees: They gave up on him after 3 years, drafted Rivers, then let Brees walk.

    All Brees has done since is win a Super Bowl and cement a Hall of Fame Career.

    The Leafs’ were correct and Eli was a beneficiary of their advice.

    Well the reason the Chargers gave up on Brees was mostly because the GM who drafted him, John Butler, died of cancer. Butler was Brees’ biggest champion in the organization and had he remained alive I believe Brees would have remained a Charger. Butler was replaced by A.J. Smith who was not a Brees guy – or probably better put not a small QB guy.. This is obvious by just looking at Rivers compared to Brees. Rivers is a big guy and Brees isn’t comparatively. It’s true Brees was (not insignificantly) injured when Smith took over but that was just a canard to jettison him in favor of “his guy” Rivers. Rivers put up some gaudy numbers in S.D., but Brees put up even gaudy-er numbers in N.O. and got a ring to boot.

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