EAST RUTHERFORD NJ - OCTOBER 17: Mario Manningham #82 of the New York Giants against the Detroit Lions at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 17 2010 in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mario Manningham
Clark Judge with CBSSports.com wrote over the weekend that Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham is expected to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a variety of reasons, including a preference to play in a warm-weather environment to following former Giants quarterbacks Mike Sullivan to Tampa Bay, where he's been named the new offensive coordinator, installing an offense that Manningham is familiar with.
Another reason is that few actually believe that the New York Giants will extend Manningham an offer, thinking that he'd want money typically associated with a primary receiver, despite the fact that most analysts believe he'd be an ideal number two receiver.
On Tuesday Manningham joined WFAN-AM in New York, denying a rumor suggesting that he was 75 percent likely to leave the Giants or Judge's report that he was certain to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Is there any point believing an imminent free agent denying rumors regarding his future? No. It hurts his negotiating power and by refuting reports of joining the Buccaneers, it helps expand his chances of receiving more money if there's at least the perception that teams are fawning over Manningham.
We can't speculate that the Cincinnati Bengals are going after Manningham with any regard, only that we suspect that the team will sign a veteran free agent wide receiver at some point.