Giants Bring Back Manningham
After Hakeem Nicks left the Giants and signed a one year, $3.5 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts, General Manager Jerry Reese brought back a familiar face to the Giants: Mario Manningham.
The 27-year-old spent four seasons with the Giants before heading to San Francisco on a two year deal. He is most notable for his phenomenal 38-yard reception in the drive that helped the Giants win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
Manningham, who was selected in the third round by the Giants in 2008 out of the University of Michigan, averaged 40 receptions, 579 yards, and 5 touchdowns in his first four years. He saw a huge increase in his targets during his second and third year with the team, when he was relied on as the number two option alongside Hakeem Nicks. However, when Victor Cruz broke out and became the number one option for Eli Manning, his targets decreased.
Now that Victor Cruz has still solidified his number one receiver reputation, Manningham has a chance to return to his previous state with the Giants as that number two option. Also in the depth chart for the Giants at receiver is Reuben Randle, entering his third season in the NFL, and Jerrel Jernigan, also entering his third season.
The Giants have made small strides with both in incorporating them into the offense, but the knowledge and familiarity that Manningham already has will be beneficial to him earning the starting role.
The Giants have been busy this offseason in adding new players and personnel to wipe away the sour taste of a 7-9 third place finish in the NFC East last year, and although this deal may not scream “blockbuster,” its significance will not be undermined if Eli Manning has a bounce-back year and is able to carry the Giants to the playoffs, and possibly another Super Bowl run.