2012 NFL Free Agents: Mario Manningham and Best Values on the Market

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Mario Manningham #82 of the New York Giants waits on the field late in the second half against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

There are several great players available in free agency this offseason, and if NFL teams are smart, they'll find a way to steadily improve their team without having to overpay players. 

Some players will cost more than others, but the key is to find those that will give a team the most bang for their buck. Getting an athlete that can contribute well for a lower price will help a team add additional players as well. 

It certainly won't be easy, but since there are so many talented players up for grabs, teams are going to be able land quality players for less money than what they'd have to pay the superstars. 

That being said, here are a few of the best values on the market this year. 


Mario Manningham, WR 

One of the heroes of the New York Giants' recent Super Bowl win, Manningham can definitely be a legitimate No. 2 wide receiver in the NFL, but he's never going to reach that with the Giants. 

His ceiling is very high right now, which is why I think he'll be finding a new home this offseason. Then again, the Giants have a good thing going, so it wouldn't be a shocker to see him return. 

No matter where he goes, though, Manningham is going to give that team great production, and he won't cost entirely too much. There are a slue of skilled receivers on the market this year, and Manningham will come at a cheaper price than the others. 

He has the speed to burn defenders and the hands to catch most everything that comes his way. Manningham is one of if not the best value for the 2012 free-agent class. 


Michael Bush, RB

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18:  Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders in action against the Detroit Lions at O.co Coliseum on December 18, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Bush would be one of the top guys this year if there weren't so many star running backs available. This is why he's a great value because he'll be far cheaper than the others. 

What's more, Bush will give a team superb production. In today's NFL, not every team has that elite running back, so they use a system of two guys to get the job done. Bush is perfect for those types of teams, as he will make the most out of each of his carries. 

The 6'1", 245-pound running back is a big bruiser, and he will come at a great price for those that wait things out. 


Jason Campbell, QB 

Had Campbell never got hurt this past season, the Oakland Raiders would likely be inking him to a new deal. 

He's a strong QB capable of growing into elite status with the right coaching and top-notch weapons around him. Campbell, unfortunately, hasn't been blessed with superb talent to work with, but give him a star receiver and he can work wonders. 

Since he is coming off an injury, the cost to get him won't be that much. With several teams in need of a QB this offseason, Campbell is a quality player that even if forced into a backup role will be a just fine. 

Campbell has the ability to start for a team and play at a high level, but if needed as a backup he would be great there as well, offering up excellent insurance for whomever the starter is. 


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