Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Manningham doesn't solve WR problem
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
There's nothing wrong with the New York Giants bringing back wide receiver Mario Manningham. I'm sure it costs them something very close to the absolute minimum and that if he doesn't bounce back from his knee problems they can move on with very little pain. They like him, Eli Manning likes him, and there's upside there if he can get healthy. He was a tremendous asset to them during their 2011-12 postseason and, of course, helped win the Super Bowl with one of the biggest catches in franchise history.
And after they'd spent so much of their time so far this offseason on defense and special teams as opposed to the offense their owner called "broken," it has to be nice for fans to see the Giants sign someone who can help put points on the board.
But Manningham's success in that postseason run came when he was the No. 3 wide receiver in an offense that featured a clicking-on-all-cylinders Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz as the top two. Cruz is still on the team, but Nicks is gone, and the Giants haven't done anything to replace him. They could be hoping that Rueben Randle makes the leap this year as a Nicks replacement on the outside, but the sense I have always gotten from the Giants about Randle is that they saw him filling the Manningham role in their offense.
And of course, it's important to note that they're changing the offense and therefore could be changing the roles. But whatever they're running, it would benefit from a big, outside target who can do the things Nicks was able to do when he was at his best. Right now they don't have that.
If healthy, Manningham is a field-stretcher who can be an asset. But he's not the answer to their wide receiver issue, and they still need to be looking to add to the top of their depth chart at that position. This only adds to the bottom.