FRIDAY, 2:41pm: Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links) provides the breakdown of Manning’s one-year deal, which has a base value of $1.6MM and can be worth another $500K in playing-time incentives. The deal also features a $100K signing bonus, says Wilson.
THURSDAY, 1:07pm: The Bengals have officially signed Manning, according to the team (via Twitter).
11:32am: The Bengals are finalizing a one-year contract with free agent safety Danieal Manning, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Manning hit the open market earlier this week when the Texans cut him after he decided not to accept a pay cut.
Once he became an unrestricted free agent, Manning indicated that his decision would be heavily influenced by which teams he felt were headed in the right direction and gave him an opportunity to win. Had he not reached an agreement with the Bengals, Manning was scheduled to make a visit to the Chiefs, another AFC playoff team. There had been speculation that the 31-year-old would also consider the Cowboys, the team he grew up rooting for, but it doesn’t seem as if Dallas was seriously in the mix.
Manning saw his 2013 season cut short when he fractured his fibula in October, forcing him out of action for the year’s final 10 games. Prior to ’13, he had started 45 regular season games in the previous three seasons for the Texans and Bears. He recorded a positive overall grade during that stretch, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), though PFF’s advanced metrics suggested his play was declining from season to season — he posted a +11.8 grade in 2010, followed by +3.1 in 2011, and -4.2 in 2012.
Still, Manning’s traditional numbers were strong even in his most recent full season (2012), when he logged 77 tackles, recovered three fumbles, and grabbed a pair of interceptions, including one for a touchdown. In Cincinnati, he’ll join a group of safeties that includes George Iloka and Reggie Nelson, who both had solid seasons in 2013 and under contract for two more years.