High off of his status as a Super Bowl hero going into the 2012 season, Mario Manningham signed a two-year deal to be a significant part of the San Francisco 49ers, who lost to the Giants in the NFC Championship that season, wide receiver corps. He caught 42 passes for 449 yards in a decent enough 2012 campaign, but he played in just six games last year and thus received little interest on the free agent market.
The WR-desperate Carolina Panthers, though, did show some interest in Manningham, but he received the highest amount of interest in his former team. The New York Giants hosted him on a visit yesterday, and now a league source tells Pro Football Talk that Mario Manningham has signed a one-year deal to rejoin the Giants organization.
It’s an excellent move for the Giants to bring back a familiar face who had 822, 944, and 523 receiving yards as a solid target in his final three seasons with the team. The 27-year-old Michigan product will be behind Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle on the WR depth chart, but he should be ahead of Jerrel Jernigan and figures to play a significant role in the Giants passing attack. Hakeem Nicks was an easy “let-go” in free agency, and I’m sure Eli Manning appreciates having a quality, familiar target in the fold.
Manningham has a chance to prove his health and productivity in 2014 on a one-year deal before trying to land a nice, long-term deal on the free agent market in 2015; this looks like a good deal for both sides. There is going to be no-risk in this contract financially once the deals are released, because the Giants are only going to pay pennies on the dollar for a WR with huge injury concerns relating to his knee. But if Manningham is healthy, then he’s a very good addition.