Mario Manningham is the unsung hero of Superbowl XLVI. Without a few very good catches down the sideline, the Giants would have left Indianapolis without another ring, Eli Manning would still be in Peyton’s shadow, and the entire NFL would be looked down upon by the New England Patriots represented by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady – much like Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader.
But Mario Manningham made those catches. He made them when they mattered most, and in that he proved just how clutch he can be.
With the resigning of Domenik Hixon on March 2nd to a one year extension, the Giants affirmed what everyone else knew: Mario Manningham is not a high priority for them to retain. In fact, he has become expendable to them.
I don’t know if they were watching the playoffs and Superbowl like I was, but Manningham comes alive when it matters.
Sure he has some drops. Ok, a quite a few.
But he has good hands. He’s proven they are there and he knows how to use them. I fully expect that he will show that he can use them on every down when a team rewards him with a new contract, new head coach, and a fresh start away from the media spotlight of New York City and the oppressive gaze of Tom Coughlin.
While Manningham doesn’t posses ideal size for a #1 receiver, at 6’0″ and 185 pounds, he has proven that he a speedy player that can slip behind defenses to make big plays. He could easily start for the Jags at the #2 spot.
Manningham racked up 944 yards in 2010, his first full 16 games season of work. That same season he had nine touchdowns and averaged 15.7 yards per reception.
While only playing in 12 games in 2011, he started 10 and the Giants’ offense was obviously superior with him in the lineup.
Look for the Jaguars to express interest in Manningham during free agency. While a more likely prospect than Brandon Lloyd, I expect Manningham to ultimately end up elsewhere, though his services would definitely benefit the Jaguars and bolster the receiving corps into something resembling respectable.
- Luke N. Sims