- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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As Mario Manningham prepares to enter free agency, looking to cash in on his big postseason and Super Bowl performance, he recognizes that Bill Belichick likely helped his cause.
If you recall, NFL Films recorded Belichick telling his defense to make the Giants go to Manningham and not Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks prior to Manningham making the spectacular 38-yard catch that sparked the Giants' Super Bowl-winning drive.
"Thank you, I appreciate it," Manningham said when asked Monday -- at the premier screening of the Giants' Super Bowl championship DVD in Times Square -- about what Belichick said on film on. "Just trying to go out there and make the play."
"I know what I can do," he added. "I know what I'm capable of doing. I'm glad he did that. Thank you. I know the type of player that I am."
Manningham had three catches for 56 yards on that drive and finished with five receptions for 73 yards for the game. Now, Manningham is hoping another team will think of him, and pay him, as a No. 1 or 2 receiver in free agency.
ELI HOPES MARIO STAYS: Eli Manning would love for the Giants to keep Manningham but he also understands what can happen in free agency.
"You never know what is going to happen," Manning said. "With free agency, over the years, I have kind of learned that if you get caught up in it and wondering and debating and asking about it, it is not going to solve anything. You got to sit and let it ride out and see what happens."
"Hopefully we will have Mario back and he's had a tremendous playoff run and he stepped in and when Hakeem was hurt or Vic was down," Manning added. "He stepped in and made big plays and has been in this offense for a long time, knows it and has big-play potential. Hopefully he is back and if not we will deal with that."
NICKS HEALING: Nicks said he has been using the down time after the Super Bowl to rest and let some injuries, like his shoulder ailment, heal up.
The wide receiver said he will not need any offseason surgery on anything.
"I've just been healing up," he said. "My body is starting to feel pretty good now."
Nicks said after the Super Bowl that his body "felt like it was all in pieces."
"But that is the way I wanted it to feel," he added. "Just getting that victory meant everything. Shoulder is good, been rehabbing a lot. Feel like there’s going to be no setbacks for that."
22hDan Graziano and Adam Caplan