Giants fans remember Mario Manningham most for his heroic role in Super Bowl XLVI, but he was a serviceable No. 2 wide receiver before he made that famous sideline catch. Manningham scored nine touchdowns and approached 1,000 receiving yards in 2010.
New York spent a third-round draft pick on Manningham in 2008. It took one year for the Michigan product to become a productive member of the Giants' offense. His fourth-quarter catch was integral to the Giants' Super Bowl win in 2011, his fourth and final season in New York.
By the time Manningham had signed a new deal with the San Francisco 49ers—a two-year contract worth $7.375 million—the following offseason, the memory of his catch was still fresh in the minds of all Giants fans. Manningham's first stint with the Giants went out on such a high note that he retains an unrealistically favorable reputation among the fanbase to this day.
Manningham has more NFL experience than any of the camp bodies New York currently has on its roster at wide receiver, but that doesn't make him any more likely to make the team. He may even be a step behind some of those inexperienced receivers after sitting out all spring.
Through the first three quarters of his first season with the 49ers, Manningham was a lukewarm receiving threat, scoring just one touchdown and averaging just over 10 yards per catch. He then blew out his knee at the end of the 2012 season, returning for just six unproductive games in 2013.
The Giants brought Manningham back this offseason on a one-year, $795,000 deal—a testament to the team's faith in his knee.
Even if he is healthy, Manningham is no lock to make the 53-man roster. Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and 2014 first-rounder Odell Beckham Jr. will take up the top three slots. Jerrel Jernigan figures to be the next man in after an explosive end to last season. Julian Talley has been waiting in the wings on the practice squad, Trindon Holliday presents a unique special teams advantage and undrafted rookie Corey Washington has great size (6'4", 200 lbs).
Things are looking a little crowded for the former Super Bowl standout.