Reports on the St. Louis Rams' status in negotiations with free agent wide receiver Mario Manningham have vacillated throughout the afternoon. Earlier on Friday afternoon, it looked like something was just a matter of time. Later reports, however, have pushed back on that, saying the Rams are still a long way from having an agreement with Manningham.
So what gives?
At about 7:00 p.m. Central, Howard Balzer of 101 ESPN reported this via Twitter:
WR Mario Manningham apparently also close to agreement.— Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) March 16, 2012
Then, minutes later, that report got walked back a little bit.
Rams source says reports of Manningham being close completely false.— Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) March 16, 2012
Tony Softli said talks were in their early stages.
Rams source confirms Manningham situation is still in begining stages.— Tony Softli (@SoftliSTL) March 16, 2012
So what gives? We don't know. Talks with Jason Jones were supposed to be close on Tuesday night, and Jones is now in Seattle. On the other hand, sometimes in free agency when a team and a player are talking late on a Friday night it can mean good things.
Much could depend on what kind of money Manningham is seeking. If he still wants No. 1 receiver money, he might be waiting a while since he's a complementary piece.