These players will always be connected through that trade, and with Miami of Ohio's Ben Roethlisberger, who was passed over in favor of them and picked eleventh by the Steelers.
Rivers has not worn a football jersey in New York since that day. He has yet to face a New York audience as a player. None of this is his doing. The schedule has kept him out of Giants Stadium until now.
He is a big time player playing in a laid-back setting. Rivers was made for New York. He's a brash, tough, combative leader, that - get this, now- can throw the football verrry well. (Yes, I know...let's see him do it consistently in the Northeast...)
It is true that Roethlisberger has gone on to win two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh and Manning led the Giants' improbable championship run in 2007, culminating in the shocking victory over the unbeaten Patriots.
But over time it could be Rivers who develops into the best down-in and down-out quarterback. This is not news to anyone who is following the careers of these three men. He is considered by many to be one of the the league's elite QBs along with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Eli and Ben are considered "second tier" players (don't ask...).
Early in Rivers' career. his job was to hand the ball to LaDanian Tomlinson and not turn it over. It is of no fault of his that his team has not made it to the Super Bowl. He lost twice to New England and once to Pittsburgh which is nothing to be ashamed of.
Now that Tomlinson's production had dwindled, the Chargers have given Rivers the keys to the kingdom. He has responded with great numbers and has become an excellent field general.
Rivers began his career behind Brees, so he has only started 48 games in his career as opposed to the other two, who have started 71 games each......
Somehow, with the Giants struggling and in need of a leader these days, one has to think how the Giants may have fared had they simply just kept Rivers, or chose Ben instead.
Would they have won the Super Bowl without Eli? Or, would they be a dynasty with one of the others? You can clearly see that Manning's QB rating pales in comparison.
Either way, what's done is done. Rivers comes here Sunday. We'll see what he's made of.....or.....what we're made of.......