Bringing back wide receiver Mario Manningham has been pretty much the extent of the attention that the New York Giants have given the weapons (or lack thereof) surrounding Eli Manning.
Manningham spent four seasons with New York, from 2008-2011, after being drafted by the Giants in the third round out of Michigan. In 2010, Manningham had his most productive year, catching 60 passes for 944 yards and nine touchdowns. It remains the only season in his six-year career that Manningham has played in all 16 games.
Along with Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, Manningham helped give the G-Men a corps of wide receivers that was very difficult to defend. He was a solid receiving option, offering speed and big-play ability. Giants fans will surely never forget his Super Bowl heroics (picture above) on New York’s game-winning drive.
Coming off the Super Bowl victory in 2011, which happened to be a free agent year, Manningham hit the market with a bang. He eventually signed with the San Francisco 49ers on a two-year deal worth about $7.3 million.
However, Manningham’s stay in San Francisco was littered with disappointment. He played twelve games in 2012 before tearing his ACL, an injury that plagued him in 2013 as well. Manningham never seemed to fully recover from the injury and his production was minimal. He was eventually placed on the injured reserve in 2013, which was his second appearance on the list in two years.
Manningham played a total of 18 games with the 49ers. He caught 51 passes for 534 yards and only one touchdown. It was hardly the impact the Niners were hoping for.
So, what can the Giants be expecting from the soon-to-be-28-year-old?
I certainly wouldn’t expect Manningham to be the same threat he once was for New York. He should be able to contribute but the Giants cannot put themselves in another position where they are relying on a receiver who is coming off multiple injury-riddled seasons.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Jerrel Jernigan leap-frogs Manningham on the depth chart early in the year. Jernigan seems like a player who’s stock is on the rise, while Manningham is on a steady decline.
Right now, the Giants are lacking weapons on offense. We know what to expect from Cruz but beyond him, there are a lot of questions marks. Rueben Randle could be poised for a big year but he first needs to conquer the chemistry issues between him and Manning.
I believe the Giants should use their No. 12 overall pick to scoop up another receiving weapon, whether it be a wide receiver or a tight end. If Texas A&M‘s Mike Evans drops to twelve, New York would be off their rocker to let him slip away.