Drugmonkey and Scribbler50 make a good point about John Elway, way back in 1983, pulling the same stunt as Eli did.
I think there are a couple of important differences. Before I go further, let me clearly say that
(1)I didn't respect Elway for doing that and for a long time derived major Schadenfraude at his getting his ass handed to him SuperBowl after SuperBowl, and
(2) I am not familiar with the backstory, actually even the story, of what transpired with Elway. So if I'm wrong, my apologies and please set me straight.
Firstly, and this is a subtle point, I don't believe Elway chose any particular team. He just didn't want to play east of the Rockies or whatever. He is still an asshole for making that demand, but I don't know whether one particular team got railroaded to the specific benefit of another, directly by Elway's demand, in quite the same fashion as happened in Chargers v Giants. In principle therefore, more teams than just the Broncos (heck, any west coast team) could have tried to make a deal for Elway if they so desired. With Eli, it was Giants or bust; he hand-picked his fucking team and got away with it.
Secondly, and this I'm pretty sure about, there was effectively very little free-agency in the NFL till 1992 or so. Prior to '92, teams had to compensate other teams for signing their players as free agents, and the compensation was proportional to the money you paid the player as a free agent----so basically the cost to sign players as free agents was enormous. Free agency was effectively not very prevalent----meaning that if a team drafted you , you were probably in for indentured servitude with them. So the stakes were a bit different.
Still, that was deal for all the players then, so Elway was still a dick for making special demands.
Eli is not living in those dark ages. He could have gotten restricted free agency after 3 years and full free agency after 4. So he is, I think, a much bigger asshole than Elway was, inasmuch as we agree that both of them were assholes.
Friday, December 5, 2008