Manningham was anticipated to leave the N.Y Giants in free agency after a formidable postseason and 4th quarter performance in the Super Bowl and he will be joining the team he helped beat in the NFC Championship.
Manningham will join an upgraded receiving corps that also includes Randy Moss, who signed a one-year agreement, and Michael Crabtree, the team’s 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Texas Tech who had 72 receptions for 874 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2011. San Francisco also remains in the running for free agent quarterback Peyton Manning. Basketball lines
“It’s going down. Mario Manningham signs with 49ers. This is a sick WR squad. It should be crazy on the Offensive side of the ball,” defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois said.
Manningham finished last season with 39 receptions for 523 yards and 4 touchdowns in twelve regular-season games. But he caught 3 touchdowns — including one against the Niners — in the postseason and had 5 receptions for 73 yards against the Patriots, including his sensational 38-yard fourth-quarter catch that set up the game-winning touchdown.
Manningham was a luxury for the Giants, who’ve Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Cruz exceeded Manningham last season on the depth chart and GM Jerry Reese eventually must pay both of his top wideouts, leaving Manningham free to go in free agency.
Manningham related while being interviewed prior to free agency that there were benefits to playing with an elite quarterback like Eli Manning but that there are other quarterbacks out there.
“He is, but there are lots of good quarterbacks in this league,” Manningham said recently. “I just require the ball more, that’s all.”
And Manningham just wasn’t going to see steady targets with Nicks and Cruz.
The Giants will need to get a new 3rd receiver. Reese and boss coach Tom Coughlin expounded at the NFL Scouting Combine they are expecting last year’s 3rd-round pick, Jerrel Jernigan, to step up this season. Also, the Giants would like to see what the 6-foot-6 Ramses Barden, a 2009 3rd-round pick, can do as well. They re-signed vet wide receiver Domenik Hixon, who is coming off a ripped ACL injury for the 2nd straight year and still could add another receiver in free agency or the draft.
Manningham, 25 year-old, is eager to show he can be a top receiver. He had a career-high sixty receptions for 944 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2010.
“Yeah,” he revealed when asked if he looks at himself as a top wide receiver and feels a team will be willing to pay him as such too. “It’s a business. You got to look at it like that too. Their (the N.Y Giants) decision might come down to… you never can say. You have got to look out for your family. That is how it is.”
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