Manningham signs with 49ers
Former New York Giants NFL football player Mario Manningham poses backstage at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, February 12, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Mario Manningham’s most famous reception was the fourth-quarter snag down the left sideline on the Giants’ game-winning drive from Eli Manning in Super Bowl XLVI.
While Manningham has caught his last pass from that Manning, might he be connecting with another member of the famous quarterbacking family in San Francisco?
Manningham, who caught 39 passes for 523 yards and four touchdowns in 2011, agreed to a two-year deal with the 49ers.
While Manningham’s production was well behind that of teammates Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, he represents an upgrade for the 49ers, who last week signed Randy Moss out of retirement to go along with Michael Crabtree.
The bolstered corps of receivers should make San Francisco a more attractive destination to Peyton Manning, easily the most coveted free agent left on the market.
Coach Jim Harbaugh was at a workout Tuesday in Raleigh to see Peyton Manning throw and evaluate his movement and conditioning as the team angles to bring him in as a replacement for Alex Smith.
The 49ers are competing with the Titans and Broncos, who are currently considered the favorites to sign the 35-year-old veteran.
Meanwhile, Smith was expected to meet with the Dolphins.
Manningham will get to see his former team next season, as the Giants will travel to play the 49ers for the second straight season. The Giants won the NFC Championship Game in San Francisco in January.
Manningham also visited the Rams for two days before ultimately deciding to sign with the 49ers.
The Giants are likely to look in-house to replace him. Jerrel Jernigan was a third-round pick in 2011, and the hope is Ramses Barden will continue to progress following an injury-shortened third NFL season. Domenik Hixon, who missed the past two seasons with ACL injuries, was also re-signed.