Chicago Sun-Times

Numbers worth looking at in Ricky Manning Jr. case

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The perception last season was that Ricky Manning Jr. was overlooked in a big way when seventh-round pick Trumaine McBride was used primarily as a starter in Nathan Vasher’s absence.

It was reality in the sense that starting is a big deal. Whose in the lineup on a week-to-week basis speaks volumes about who the coaching staff believes in most.

But the statistics paint a somewhat different picture. Manning was on the field for 544 of the 1,076 defensive snaps last season. McBride? 584. About the same. It marked a decrease in defensive snaps for Manning of only 55 from 2006, or a little less than one game. Interestingly, Manning was actually on the field more for the Bears in 2007 than he was in 2006 because of an increased role on special teams.

That role doesn’t look to be expanding any time soon, not here anyway. He’s running with the third team right now and has been removed from the nickel unit with Danieal Manning now holding down that spot. It’s early. The Bears are two months and a day away from reporting to training camp in Bourbonnais, but if this holds up much longer he’s going to become serious trade bait.

The issue at hand will be Manning’s contract. He’s on the books for $1.85 million this season but that figure shoots up to $4.75 million in 2009 and rests at $4.55 million in 2010. It’s a situation where a team acquiring him would likely want to rework the numbers (unless it only plans on keeping him for one season, which is unlikely) and it takes two parties to agree to a new deal.

Manning was remarkably upbeat about his situation and says there is no rift whatsoever with the coaching staff. He’s disappointed and wants a chance but didn’t do any finger pointing.

You’d think he is of value but running behind McBride, Corey Graham, probably even rookie Zak Bowman, and the starters, he Bears may see it differently right now.

Stay tuned on this situation.

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11 Comments

Very good with this development. I've been down on Ricky since early last year when I saw WR's absolutely buzz by what couldn't be more than 4.8 speed.

Anybody have any idea what round draft pick next year he'd get us?

Danieal Manning is working the nickelback spot???? If that's the case, pay Ricky Manning DOUBLE what his contract says!!! If D.Manning is expected to play at yet another DB position besides safety, R.Manning will have to stay. I'm just kidding, I think we can trust Trumaine to take over at nickel and at a fraction of the cost.

I think the stark reality of this is not in the numbers, or in the number of plays he was on the field. If Vasher had been healthy, what would have been the depth chart at CB? Would Manning have played ahead of McBride? Given that McBride was the starter for Vasher over Manning, I would say the answer is no. Corey Graham and Ade Jimoh are special teamers, and not good enough to get on the field as corners, so they didn't factor in to the equation in 2007. Danieal Manning had to play free safety because of the injuries to Brown and the lack of depth otherwise.

The cap hit would have to be minimal at this point to let him go, and I think they will do so after this season. They won't pay him $4 million to ride the pine.

But they won't do anything with him until they a) feel comfortable enough with Bowman, Graham, and D Manning at the nickel and dime spots to go on without him, or b) feel confident enough that Mike Brown and the safety position will be solid enough to move D Manning to CB without having to go to emergency roster guys in case Mike's leg gives out again.

I would like to see him gone, just to give the younger guys a chance to develop, but at his salary this year, he isn't too bad of an option.

brad, thanks for all info.

A quick question, the $7.5 million in "Guarantees", when he signed the contract was always reported as a $5 million signing bonus and a 2.5 mill roster bonus.

Are you saying the $5 million in 2006 was also a roster bonus? and they do not have an unamortized bonusto account for - if he is cut/traded?
thank you

BRAD SAYS: The $5 million was paid in the form of a roster bonus. I'm not sure who reported it as a signing bonus, and I hope I didn't. Remember, RMJ was a restricted free agent and the Bears needed to frontload that deal to discourage Carolina, which has cap issues at the time, from matching it. Thus, it was a roster bonus and not a signing bonus.

This will be great...trade Ricky for a draft pick and D Manning/McBride can duke it out for the nickel spot.

He has been underachieving & not playing very well! We need to try to trade him,while we can get something for him.He was a major disappointment last year,when we really needed him.He obviously didnt have himself in shape & ready to play!With the younger guys coming in now.Good business would be to trade him for a draft pick for next year! GO BEARS!! GOOD LUCK IN 2008!

Daniel manning sucks. I can not tell you how manny times he blew his coverage. trade him or release him. he is not worth what he is geting paid.

Before i say this ill tell you that I love Mike Brown as a football player. But... I say trade Mike, let him start fresh for another team and put Craig Steltz and D. Manning as the safeties. Have Bowman, McBride and JR compete for nickel spot. I think we can get more for Mike in a trade even with his injury problems. Im just glad where talking about a nickel spot cuz that means we got 2 great starting corners. Go Bears! and call me crazy but I still believe in Rex.

No, edy do not even think of trading Mike Brown, you won't get anything in return of value, he is a team leader much more important in the locker room than people know, he is also on the sideline even when injured counseling the players playing in his place on the field. Plus who would you rather Stelz learn Bear defensive football from other than Mike Brown, the guy leads the team all time in takeaways for touchdowns on defense.....he should retire a BEAR.....

If the Bears do anything with Mike brown, it should be to have him retire and come back as a Secondary Coach or another Assistant Coaching Job. Lovie will not get rid of this man as he is invaluable to this team in every facet. Mike has been hurt (and that sucks as I do believe he is in the class of Ronnie Lott and young John Lynch and could have been the best Safety of all time) the past few years, but his contributions off the field have been felt throughout the team and fans alike.

I love the loyalty of Lovie, it is a remarkable character trait for a head coach in these times, but I think it is time to try and find a Quarterback.
Rex shows flashes of brilliance, but that is all it has been. Flashes. Inconsistency.
Kyle, I love Kyle and even though it is not pretty, Kyle does WIN games. We love to sit there and feel bored when watching the offense, until the final score reveals that the ears had won again. He is an awesome #2, just not the #1 the Bears need.

Love the info Brad, and keep it up!

I think the number of picks spent on defense give away how much they believe in Ricky Manning, and I have not seen anything from Danial Manning to justify the reach in the draft. I'm puling for Zachery Bowman to be a contributer with his size and skill. Angelo had picked some good defensive backs in tampa and I hope kevin payne takes a safety spot or at least 1st backup.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 22, 2008 6:06 AM.

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