So far in free agency, the New York Giants have made solid moves. They have shored up the defensive backfield and added much needed help to the return games. They have added pieces to the offense as well, adding Rashad Jennings in the backfield and Geoff Schwartz on the offensive line. One area the Giants have not yet addressed enough is the weapons for Eli Manning.
Earlier in the week, the Giants signed Mario Manningham. Fans will remember him for his outstanding sideline catch in Super Bowl 46 against the New England Patriots, but he has not done much since leaving the Giants. Manningham signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers after the Giants’ Super Bowl victory, but had little to no impact in his two seasons there. Manningham got onto the field for only 18 games, catching 51 passes for 534 yards and one TD.
Manningham will bring a familiarity factor with Manning as the two had good chemistry during his first tenure with the Giants, but they will be running a new offense under first-year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. If healthy, Manningham could be an asset — but the question is how healthy is he?
Manningham suffered knee injuries throughout his time with the 49ers, getting put on injured reserve both Decembers he was with the team. Essentially, he has not been a major part of an offense since 2011. Depending on him would be a poor choice for the Giants. His knee looks to be in shreds, raising the question of if he is even an upgrade over anyone the Giants currently have on the roster. It would be hard to see him passing Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle or even Jerrel Jernigan on the depth chart for snaps this season.
The Giants need to continue scouring the free agent market and draft class for receiver help. There may not be players available right now to help, but as the draft draws closer, teams will begin trimming their rosters, and the Giants may be able to find some gems. One name that comes to mind is Kenbrell Thompkins of the Patriots. According to reports, he is fighting for a roster spot right now, and would be a solid addition for whichever team adds him.
Bringing Manningham back is nice. Manning and the Giants like him. But with his health being such a concern, it is a serious question as to how much he can help the team. Also, when he found success with the Giants the first time around, he was the third receiver behind Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.
Cruz is still here, but the Giants have done nothing to replace Nicks. For the Giants and Manningham to replicate the success from 2008-2011, adding more proven commodities at receiver is a must.