We are taking a look at various candidates for release as the 49ers look to improve their 2013 salary cap situation. Today we look at wide receiver Mario Manningham.
Last offseason, the 49ers made a calculated decision to let wide receiver Josh Morgan walk, and in turn sign Giants free agent Mario Manningham. Both receivers signed two year contracts and put up similar numbers in 2012, but the 49ers saved about four million dollars in going with Manningham.
Manningham tore his ACL and PCL in the 49ers Week 16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Reports indicate he is looking at a late training camp return. Although it sounds like he will be back in 2013, we bring him up as a cap cut candidate strictly because of the injury.
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Manningham has a $4.95 million cap figure for 2013. He has a $3.6 million base salary, with $1.6 million of that salary guaranteed. Additionally, he can earn $250,000 in roster bonuses and $100,000 in a workout bonus. The remainder of his cap figure is $1 million in prorated signing bonus. If cut, the 49ers would save $2.35 million in cap room. But, of course, at the same time they would lose what could be a valuable option for Colin Kaepernick.
My feelings are Manningham will be staying around. Although he is likely to miss a good chunk of training camp, it should still get him back in time to be a viable contributor for the 2013 regular season. It doesn't make sense to cut Manningham, when the 49ers have an unproven A.J. Jenkins, also injured Kyle Williams, and unproven receivers in Chad Hall and Ricardo Lockette. Plus Ted Ginn Jr. and Randy Moss are free agents on March 12th when free agency begins.
I still see the 49ers adding a WR in the offseason, either through free agency or in the draft. The obvious big ones, like Dwayne Bowe, Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings and Wes Welker likely will cost too much. Other options would be through the draft. Some receivers there might include Tennessee Tech's Da'Rick Rogers, Oklahoma's Kenny Stills, Georgia's Tavarres King, Washington State's Marquess Wilson, and Virginia Tech's Marcus Davis. All could be third round pick choices.