Mario Manningham to 49ers: How the Deal Could Hurt Pursuit of Peyton Manning

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVMarch 18, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Wide receiver Mario Manningham #82 of the New York Giants has a pass broken up by Patrick Chung #25 of the New England Patriots  during the first half of Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The sports world was raving about the San Francisco 49ers' addition of Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham Saturday, in the hopes that he would be a big target to lure in free-agent gem Peyton Manning.

Instead, the move could end up ruining their chances of getting the four-time MVP.

The Niners were at just $18 million in cap space before signing cornerback Carlos Rogers and wideout Manningham. Rogers will eat up $5.5 million this season, and Manningham's contract details aren't available yet.

Manningham's deal could end up giving the 49ers about $10 million in cap space to work with this season. Granted, they could and would make some extra room if it meant bringing in Manning, but it would require some bold and rash moves.

It wasn't even certain that they could offer up enough money for a player like Mike Wallace, much less one of the most-prized free agents in league history in Manning.

Denver CBS4 sportscaster Vic Lombardi announced earlier this week that money could be a much bigger influence than expected in the Manning sweepstakes. On his twitter, Lombardi posted the following, "Here's what I'm hearing ... money has become a BIG factor in the Manning derby. Wasn't supposed to be. It is."

We've heard Titans owner Bud Adams say that money is not an obstacle in their pursuit of Manning and that he can offer lifetime employment.  

Manning obviously doesn't have a money problem considering he's a big tipper, but he surely wants to have the most financial protection if he were to take a bad hit and have his neck permanently hinder him from playing.

Manningham doesn't have any attitude problems just yet, but he's demanding much more than he has the right to. ESPN states in this article that Manningham "wants the ball more." 

With Michael Crabtree taking up the No. 1 receiver spot and tight-end Vernon Davis among the best pass catchers in the game, Manningham might not get the ball as much as he envisioned.

But when it comes down to it, Manning will demand the big bucks. It's looking less and less likely that the 49ers will have enough bucks to throw at him.