The Mario Manningham saga is over, and Saturday night the St. Louis Rams experienced another 2012 NFL free agency near-miss: Manningham has taken a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers, according to AP reports, landing in the NFC West just a day after rumor had it he was close to a deal with the St. Louis Rams.
Manningham joins Randy Moss in upgrading a 49ers offense that lacked deep threats a month ago. The Niners have managed to make up for losing Josh Morgan to free agency, to say the least.
As for the Rams, they began free agency with a bang, signing Cortland Finnegan to a five-year contract, but they’ve struggled since, losing Jason Jones and Manningham to division rivals. If their aim was to upgrade Sam Bradford’s downfield options via free agency, they failed; depending on how much you enjoy draft kremlinology, though, this could just mean they’re more likely than ever to target Justin Blackmon with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
More wide receiver coverage from SB Nation St. Louis, who feels Sam Bradford’s pain:
- Mock draft experts are even more sure than they were before that Justin Blackmon is the apple of the Rams’ collective eye.
- For all that, though, the Rams have yet to telegraph an interest in Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd.
- Of course, the Rams have said all along that they’re willing to explore wide receiver trade options.