Nearly a week after agreeing to a two-year contract with the 49ers, Mario Manningham finally got around to signing it and was introduced at a press conference in San Francisco today.
“I feel like I can come here and make an impact and be a great addition to this offense,” he said.
When he agreed to terms last week, there was speculation that he would be going from one Manning to another and Peyton was still on the market and the 49ers appeared to be in position to sign him. Manningham admitted that the thought crossed his mind, but it wasn’t the determining factor in his decision.
“I knew it was a possibility, but I wasn’t picking them because of that though,” he said. “I knew he’s a great quarterback and everything. But if you don’t have a great defense and your offense is potent, there’s really no point, you know what I mean?
“I thought he was coming to the 49ers but he didn’t,” Manningham also said. “He went to Denver. I just wish the best for him. We have Alex Smith and I know he’s a great player. He played good last year, throughout his career and everything.”
As for coming back to the Giants, Manningham said that he would have liked to return to the team he helped win Super Bowl XLVI.
“That’s me knowing the business part of this system about football,” he said. “Yeah, you know who wouldn’t want to come back to their team that was there? But I’m not and that was in the past and I won a Super Bowl with those guys. I give them all the credit for teaching me things and just winning with them. But this is my new team now and everyone knows the path I am trying to take. They are a good team.”
Ultimately, Manningham said having the 49ers’ defense and running back Frank Gore made his decision – even though he said he was close to signing with the NFC West rival Rams.
“There’ s a great defense on the other side of the ball, and I know I can come in and make plays,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to come to the 49ers. And I know I can make an impact, God willing. I can come in there and learn the playbook and just make a difference.”