Uh oh, the St. Louis Rams search for an offensive coordinator might not be wrapped up in the next 24 hours. Reportedly Josh McDaniels was close to making a decision, "probably" choosing the Rams over the Vikings, but now comes a report from ESPN's Chris Mortensen that contract talks are "breaking down."
The Rams have asked for permission to speak with Falcons' QB coach Bill Musgrave and Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. They were denied permission to speak with Jacksonville OC Dirk Koetter.
All of this could be proceeding toward a backup plan, or it could be both sides trying to leverage things a little for a more favorable deal. It's hard to say. Just what exactly could be holding up the Rams' talks with McDaniels? Money? Control?
We mentioned Musgrave last week. It's hard to argue with his track record in Atlanta, and his time there overlaps with Rams' GM Billy Devaney's time there.
Bevell would be a West Coast offense guy, a cheaper version of Brad Childress...without the baggage.
UPDATE: This isn't good. Did the Rams' "conservative fiscal approach" derail the talks? That's what Mortensen is saying, citing league sources. With Kroenke writing the checks the Rams aren't supposed to be as tight as they were in recent years; handling talks with a marquee candidate for the offensive coordinator job with a stingy approach could be a big concern. The Rams need to make some waves this offseason to put themselves on the map. Besides adding talented players, the chance to hire a brand name like McDaniels would signal a big commitment to improving an offense that struggled mightily in 2010, keeping them out of the playoffs even.
Mike Sando speculates that it all could be part of the "poker game" between the two sides, citing a very favorable situation in St. Louis with QB Sam Bradford that would rehabilitate McDaniels' image or elevate the career of any offensive coordinator who takes the job.