Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC West [Print without images]

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Should A.J. Smith still be mad at Eli?

By Bill Williamson

In an interview with the Sporting News, San Diego Chargers’ general manager A.J. Smith caused a retroactive stir by taking a shot at New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning.

Of course, Manning didn’t want to be a Charger when the team had the No. 1 pick in 2004. The Chargers took Manning and then traded him to the Giants in a package that netted the Chargers star quarterback Philip Rivers in the draft-day trade.

Manning has won a Super Bowl with the Giants, but Rivers has developed into an elite player and is widely considered a much better player than Manning. Smith stoked the fires last week by saying this about Manning: "He was a Charger for 45 minutes and that was too much time to be a Charger, in my opinion."

Smith went on to say this about Rivers: "I believe with my heart and soul that he one day will lead the Chargers to a world championship. He's a great quarterback -- a phenomenal leader with great character, great work habits

ESPN.com’s SportsNation wants you to chime in on a poll on the matter. Do you think Smith should get over his beef with Manning or do you think he is entitled to hold a grudge against the player who didn’t want to play for him?

Take the poll and then voice your opinion on the subject in the section below.

My thoughts are that Smith can say whatever he wants about Manning. It’s just an opinion. I think the more interesting part of his comments was his overwhelming endorsement of Rivers and his expectation that his quarterback will win a Super Bowl. It has to make Rivers feel good, knowing how much confidence his boss has in him.