This didn't take long. Giants' free-agent WR Mario Manningham is rumored to be fleeing south to join former Giants' assistant coach Mike Sullivan in Tampa Bay.
As per Clark Judge of CBSSports.com....
Manningham is expected to follow former Giants assistant Mike Sullivan to Tampa Bay. Sullivan, who was the Giants quarterbacks coach, recently took a job as Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator....But there are other reasons Manningham won't be back, sources said. First, they said, he would know Sullivan's offense, so there is no learning curve. Second, people close to Manningham indicate that he wants to go to a warm-weather club, and last time I checked Tampa Bay qualified on that score. Third, sources said the Giants probably wouldn't make him a contract offer, not only because they believe his price may be too high but because they're more interested in a wide receiver who can line up at more than one or two spots at the position, which, they said, Manningham cannot.Giants' GM Jerry Reese cannot outbid the Bucs for Mario's services. The Giants are one of several teams still over the salary cap (by approximately $7-9 million depending on who you beleive) and Tampa Bay has around $50-60 million to play around with.
"Right now, we don't know what the cap number is going to be, so we're waiting in respect to that," Reese told the NFL Network yesterday. "When guys have a chance to hit the market, they want to hit the market because it's all about "how I can make the most money for the rest of my career?'"
Reese knows the numbers are against him when it comes to re-signing the 25 year-old budding star, who made several huge catches for the Giants during their most recent championship run, including the 38-yard over-the shoulder grab along the sidelines thay proved to be the turning point in Super Bowl XLVI.
"We'd love to have him back, but we don't know what we can do right with respect to that," Reese told NFL Networks' Rich Eisen. "We have a lot of issues on our plate right now. We're in the early stages of our preparation of our offseason and we'll address the Mario situation and the Osi (Umenyiora) situation. There's several other issues we need to address as well."
The league's free agency free-for-all begins March 13th.