The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MICHIGAN IN THE PROS in his NFL career, he is a productive wide receiver with a lot of big-game experience. He will be a nice comple- ment to our current wide receiver group and a good fit for our offensive system." The coaching staff and the players were the main reason for his signing, Manningham told the San Francisco Examiner. He nearly signed with the Rams before settling on head coach Jim Harbaugh's team. "I know what they're capable of doing. I know I can come in and make plays. That's why I wanted to come to the 49ers," he said. "Offenses these days, you need a good running game. They have a really good O- line. Give it up to Frank Gore being in that backfield and running the ball the way he ran it last year. I feel like I can come there and make an impact." Manningham joins a talented re- ceiving corps that includes Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree. Har- baugh, though, sold him on the idea that they could share the wealth. The Michigan background didn't hurt, either. "When I first met coach, we talked Left tackle Jake Long is in the final season of his rookie contract, but the Dolphins' general manager said he plans to keep him in Miami for a long time. Sentinel that Miami might not be as much of a "power team" as it has been in the past. Long is one of the league's maulers PHOTO COURTESY MIAMI DOLPHINS and considered one of the top two of- fensive tackles in the league by most experts. He'd be one of the league's top free agents next year if the Dol- phins didn't sign him to an exten- sion, and he's reportedly looking for a contract similar to the seven- year, $84-million extension signed by Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas in 2011. Ireland clarified his position and insisted he planned to keep Long in Miami for the foreseeable future. "I'd like to clear the air on an ar- valuable no matter what the Dol- phins chose to do offensively. "Jake Long can transfer to any scheme, in any offense and any team in the National Football League, in my opinion," he said. "I think the guy is a tremendous athlete. He's quick. He's strong. He can do it." Knee and biceps injuries slowed Long in 2011, but he's due to make $11.2 million in 2012, the final season of his rookie deal. ticle," he said. "I don't normally go overboard on media speculation, but last night I saw an article about Jake Long. I have plans to keep Jake Long here for a long time. So, let's don't get ahead of ourselves. … We drafted Jonathan Martin to be a tackle on this football team, a right tackle on this football team. Let's don't speculate any further than that." 80 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2012 more. The former Michigan and New York receiver turned his Super Bowl heroics into a two-year free agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers after catching 160 passes for 2,315 yards and 18 touchdowns in four years with the Giants. "We are very pleased to add a MARIO MANNINGHAM EXCITED TO JOIN SAN FRANCISCO Mario Manningham is a Giant no player like Mario to our team," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a release. "Although it is still early Ireland added Long would be to each other about where we were from," he recalled. "I'm glad that we have connection like that. I hope he knows my toughness and what I can do as the game changer that I am. We made a connection as soon as we met." consin receiver Nick Toon, a 6-3 pass catcher with solid skills. Some believe that may spell the end of former U-M receiver Adrian Arrington's time with the Saints, but interim head coach Joe Vitt told the team's website that wasn't necessarily true. "No, we like Adrian a lot, • New Orleans drafted former Wis- NFL NOTES was the next best player up there when we saw the grades. 110 yards in four years of an injury- plagued career. He spent most of his first two seasons on the team's practice squad. Arrington has caught nine passes for " The NBA Harris may or may not be in the NBA next year, but he's continuing Former Michigan wing Manny MANNY HARRIS FINISHES HIS SEASON IN STYLE " he said. "This

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