2012 NFL Free Agents: Mario Manningham a Brilliant Pickup for the 49ers

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMarch 18, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Mario Manningham #82 of the New York Giants catches a touchdown pass against Chris Culliver #29 of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke continues to impress me with his sound free-agency philosophy.

His latest move was to sign former New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham to a two-year deal.

Per ProFootballTalk:

Mario Manningham agrees to two-year deal with 49ers, per league source.

— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 18, 2012

I guess I can get off the idea that they'll land Mike Wallace now.

Whether it's Alex Smith or Peyton Manning under center in 2012 for the 49ers, Manningham gives the team an incredible third option at wideout.

He'll now join Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Vernon Davis to form a considerably dangerous quartet of receivers.

When you think about it, with Manningham now in the mix, the 49ers have as diverse a bunch of receivers as any team in the league.

Moss can stretch the field as well as anyone in the history of the NFL; Michael Crabtree is much more comfortable in the slot and excels in the short-to-midrange passing game; Manningham can now occupy the other side, and he has enough speed and quickness to be a threat anywhere on the field; and Davis will now have much more room to operate unimpeded underneath the coverage as Moss and Manningham stretch the field.

Oh, the 49ers also have quite an impressive running game, too.

All these receiving weapons are going to make it much easier for Frank Gore to gash opposing defenses. 

Long gone are the days of eight- and nine-man fronts.

Again, Baalke's decision-making continues to impress me. He is shrewd and won't overpay for someone, no matter how much that person may have contributed to the 49ers in the past (see: Adam Snyder). 

He didn't pay too much for Manningham, I'm positive. Yes, the numbers aren't yet released, but the fact that they only gave him a two-year deal tells me that the contract is another one that is healthy for the team.

This latest move is brilliant. 

Now, we wait to see who the starting quarterback will be...