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Giants bring back WR Manningham

The SportsXchange

Veteran wide receiver Mario Manningham agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Giantson Tuesday.

Manningham, 27, is returning to New York after two injury-plagued seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He had just nine receptions for 85 yards in six games last season. Manningham was signed in 2012 to provide a deep threat in the 49ers' offense opposite Michael Crabtree. In addition, the 49ers signed Randy Moss, who became the regular starter.

When quarterback Alex Smith was displaced by Colin Kaepernick, Manningham did not seem to be on the same page with Kaepernick. In 2013, Kaepernick had a passer rating of 13.9 on attempts on which Manningham was the intended target.

"It was frustrating, but it was a learning experience also," Manningham said. "When I got back, I couldn't do what I wanted to, I knew I needed a little bit more time. It's coming along and I just have to work on getting stronger and getting my strength back and trusting it more. I'm doing good; it's getting stronger."

He returns to a familiar huddle with the New York Giants and should easily assimilate the West Coast offense of new coordinator Ben McAdoo. While Hakeem Nicks is gone, Manningham isn't guaranteed a starting role. Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz are likely to start with Manningham contributing in multiple-receiver sets.

Manningham played his first four seasons with the Giants.

"I'm happy to be back," Manningham said. "I'm real excited. It's just great to see everybody, be around familiar faces, knowing everybody in the past and just being comfortable around everybody.

"Once a Giant, always a Giant. That's how I feel. This is a very special place. I wanted to come back."

Manningham was a key part of the Giants' championship run following the 2011 season, catching touchdown passes in each of their three playoff victories and making a key fourth-quarter reception in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.

In his career, the 6-foot Manningham has 211 catches for 2,849 yards and 19 touchdowns in six seasons.

Meanwhile, the Giants officially announced on Tuesday the signing of former Denver Broncos return specialist Trindon Holliday.

Holliday, who last season scored on a 105-yard kickoff return and an 81-yard punt return against the Giants, became the latest player to move to MetLife Stadium. He will join safety Quintin Demps, one of Sunday's acquisitions, as players expected to give the Giants' returns a much-needed jolt.

Holliday is the second former member of the AFC champion Broncos to sign with the Giants in the last day, joining cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

"It's great to get an opportunity to come out and be part of another team," Holliday said. "I'm signed to do a job and that's come in and help this team out on special teams as best as possible. I'll be ready to report.

"The team's going in the right direction. The Giants are trying to get back to their winning ways. This offseason has had some good things and I look forward to the rest."

Holliday's most recent memory MetLife Stadium was unpleasant -- his Broncos were crushed by the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, 43-8.

"It's not a very good one at all, but I'm willing to change those things around this season," he said.

Although he is just 5-foot-5 and 170 pounds, Holliday's speed and elusiveness have made him one of the NFL's most dangerous return specialists.

"Sometimes, I think my size is an advantage," Holliday said. "I can field the kicks and hide behind those big linemen when the other guys are coming down. It's hard for them to see me."

In 31 regular-season games over three seasons, he has returned 80 punts for 752 yards (9.4-yard average) and two touchdowns. His 81-yarder in Denver's victory over the Giants last Sept. 15 was the longest of his career.
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