After two injury-riddled seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, wide receiver Mario Manningham is reportedly set to return to the New York Giants.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Manningham and the G-Men have agreed to terms on a one-year deal:
Giants and former 49ers WR Mario Manningham agreed on a one-year deal. Giants are bring back Super Mario.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2014
Manningham spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Giants before signing a free-agent contract with the Niners ahead of the 2012 season. Manningham enjoyed his most successful season in 2010 as he caught 60 passes for 944 yards and nine touchdowns.
He was also a driving force behind New York's Super Bowl XLVI triumph over the New England Patriots. Manningham famously caught a long Eli Manning pass late in that game, which ultimately led to the Giants securing the go-ahead score.
Most expected Manningham to have a great deal of success in San Francisco, but injuries limited him to just 18 games in two seasons. After missing much of the 2013 season due to a torn ACL, Manningham was placed on injured reserve late in the year.
Paul Schwartz of the New York Post provides Manningham's thoughts on recovering after knee surgery:
Manningham on his surgically-repaired knee: "I just have to work on getting stronger and getting my strength back and trusting it more.''— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) March 18, 2014
Although the 27-year-old's health is still somewhat of a question mark, the Giants are apparently comfortable with the results of a physical he took earlier in the day, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network:
Mario Manningham's physical w/ the Giants is today. Told by person apprised of meetings: depending on how that goes, reunion def an option— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) March 18, 2014
With that said, Manningham lands in an ideal spot. He is already familiar with Manning, and he can play behind Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle as the third option.
According to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News, fans should temper their expectations regarding Manningham in 2014:
Don't expect Super Mario in 2014, though. Manningham's had knee troubles, had some w/ Giants. Always more complement than star.— Ebenezer Samuel (@ebenezersamuel) March 18, 2014
Is signing Manningham a smart move for the Giants?
If nothing else, bringing in Manningham is a low-risk move that could pay dividends. If Manningham's return doesn't work out, then both sides can move on following the season.
Provided things go perfectly, however, they can negotiate a long-term deal either during the season or after it.
The Manningham signing won't send shock waves through the league, but it could turn out to be one of the bigger steals in free agency this offseason.
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