After the lack of talent the San Francisco 49ers had at the wide receiver position was exposed in their 2011 NFC Championship Game loss to the New York Giants, their front office aggressively upgraded the position this offseason.
Future Hall of Famer Randy Moss and Mario Manningham were added through free agency before the 49ers used their first-round draft pick on Illinois wideout A.J. Jenkins. With Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis -- the team's top two receivers from last year -- in the mix, opportunities for receptions may be limited.
"As long as we're winning, nobody will have anything to say," Manningham said. "Yeah, we've got a bunch of good receivers and there's only one ball. But if we're out there winning -- if we've got to run the ball the whole game to win, that's perfectly fine with me. I mean, I'm all about the team. So that's perfectly fine."
Statistically, Manningham is coming off a down season. But even if he didn't attend the ring ceremony, he surely would not trade his Super Bowl ring for an extra 20 to 30 receptions during the regular season. That said, Manningham (and Moss) do have some financial reasons to become a bit grumpy if they're not involved in the offense and the 49ers fall back to the pack in the NFC West.
Manningham signed a two-year, $7.5 million that includes $2.5 million in incentives ($1.25 million per season). According to a source with knowledge of Manningham's contract, $1 million of those incentives are tied to his receiving production. Same goes for Moss and his one-year, $2.5 million contract that includes $1.5 million in performance incentives.