Mario Manningham claims he never said there was a 75 percent chance that he’d wind up signing with a team other than the Giants, as was reported over the weekend, but the wide receiver who will be a free agent in two weeks did put his odds at staying with the Giants at “50 percent” in an interview on WFAN Tuesday morning.
The rest of his comments, though, made it sound far less than that.
“I don’t think they (are) ready to do anything,” he said when asked about negotiations with the Giants, who have until March 13 to negotiate exclusively with him. “We’re not sure what’s going on right now but we’re just going to take it slow … You never know where I’m going to end up at.”
Many have speculated – and one outlet even reported – that he would be going to Tampa Bay. Manningham said he hasn’t had any conversations about that and suggested those are just rumors because former Giants wide receivers and quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan is now with the Bucs as their offensive coordinator.
“People don’t really know what’s going on,” he said. “They don’t know where I really want to go.”
Manningham said he wants to stay with the Giants. But he said there’s a better chance that the team will offer fellow receiver Victor Cruz a long-term deal than re-sign him. He also said that he’s “not sure” if he’d be willing to stay with the Giants if they offered less money than a team on the open market. “I have to see what’s going on with the rest of the receivers,” he said.
Manningham had an up and down season with knee injuries and other impediments, but he made the most critical catch of his career to spark the game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLVI. That his signature reception along the sideline came just as he was about to become a free agent certainly makes him more valuable, but it also likely outpriced him from what the Giants are willing to pay.
“It’s a good thing,” he said of being a free agent. “I just want to go wherever God leads me. He won’t make a bad decision, man. I just want to go to somebody good that I can get to the Super Bowl again.”
The Giants would seem to qualify, at least if they can come up with a suitable offer.
“I want to stay here, but if it’s not here I’m sure I’ll be somewhere else,” Manningham said. “I’m gonna see what’s up.”