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Giants must make decisions on WR Manningham, CB Ross, others

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The afterglow of a Super Bowl championship only will last so long for the Giants, who must make several big personnel decisions in free agency as it relates to their own roster.

Champs often become targets for other teams, and the Giants will have to make key decisions on important players such as WR Mario Manningham, CBs Aaron Ross and Terrell Thomas, ORT Kareem McKenzie, P Steve Weatherford and DT Rocky Bernard.

Manningham certainly has boosted his stock with a strong postseason. He scored touchdowns in each of the Giants' three games leading up to Super Bowl XLVI, and in that game, Manningham helped set up the game-winning score against the Patriots with a clutch, 38-yard catch along the sideline in the final minutes.

In order to keep him, the Giants likely would have to give Manningham starting-caliber money — and they still will want to work on an extension for Victor Cruz for down the road. It's possible that the team could allow Manningham to walk if the price gets too high and turn back to former Giants WR Steve Smith, who was a bust with the Eagles last season coming off injury but had his best production in New York.

Thomas could be back despite missing the season with a torn ACL, but Ross is a tougher call. Despite playing well this season with the team shorthanded at the position, Ross might be squeezed out in a numbers game with 2011 first-rounder Prince Amukamara likely pushing for increased playing time at some point.

McKenzie is on the back end of his career, and the Giants could opt to go younger up front. OLT Will Beatty was doing a nice job before suffering a season-ending injury, and his replacement (David Diehl) has played right tackle before. There appear to be better options at guard (Kevin Boothe, Mitch Petrus) than at tackle beyond that.

Weatherford was a quiet hero in Super Bowl XLVI, so he's very likely to receive another contract. Bernard was a solid rotational player, although the healthy return of 2011 second-round DT Marvin Austin might not guarantee that Bernard will be back.

Expect the Giants to be quiet signing outside free agents, but they'll be active with their in-house moves.

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