Mike Shanahan: Peyton Manning Avoided NFC East So He Didn’t Have To Play Eli

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Mike Shanahan had Peyton Manning atop his wish list. Instead, he had to settle for Robert Griffin III.

Shanahan’s time with the Washington Redskins was far from a success, and a lot of the reason was poor quarterback play. Had Shanahan got his way — and convinced Manning to sign in D.C. after being released by Indianapolis — Shanahan might still be running the Beltway show.

However, Manning opted to join the Denver Broncos instead. Shanahan’s theory is that Manning wasn’t keen on playing in the NFC East because that would mean facing off against his brother, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, twice per season.

“We were talking to Peyton at that time,” Shanahan recalled Wednesday in an interview with ESPN 980 via ProFootballTalk.com. “That was a strong consideration, But at the end of the day I felt that with Eli being with the Giants he wasn’t coming in our direction.”

That decision led Shanahan to one of the most controversial trades in NFL history. He infamously sent two first-round picks and a second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams in order to move up in the 2012 NFL draft to take Robert Griffin III.

Shanahan and Griffin ultimately weren’t very successful in Washington, as crippling salary cap penalties restricted the ability to build around the young quarterback. Shanahan ultimately was fired in 2013 and Griffin’s future as the No. 1 guy is still very much up in the air.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images

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