The St. Louis Rams are looking to acquire a new weapon for quarterback Sam Bradfron in ex-Giants receiver Mario Manningham. Reports say the two sides are close to finalizing a long-term deal.
Manningham is the best receiver currently left on the free agent market and he is expecting a deal in the $7 million-$8 million per year range, a price that puts him out of reach of the Giants’ who just extended receiver Victor Cruz.
Vincent Jackson went from the Chargers to the Buccaneers, Robert Meachem the Saints to Chargers, and Pierre Garcon from the Colts to the Redskins.
St. Louis has been in desperate needs of playmakers at the wide receiver position in recent years, and while Danny Amendola began to emerge as a legitimate slot receiver, injuries landed him on injured reserve last season and out of the equation.
The Rams then turned to receiver Brandon Lloyd when they acquired him through a trade with the Denver Broncos.
Lloyd was traded to the Rams for a conditional pick, a sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft, that now has become a fifth-round pick since he caught more than 30 passes with the Rams in 2011.
Several teams are interested in Lloyd, including the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers, but it would make sense for him to re-unite with Josh McDaniels in New England.
McDaniels is the current offensive coordinator for Patriots and was also the former head coach of the Denver Broncos — specifically when Lloyd led the league in receiving yardage with 1,448 yards in 2010.
He also would prefer to play for McDaniels, but hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a return to the St. Louis Rams.
After Lloyd the primary receivers are Brandon Gibson and Denario Alexander, who combined for 862 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season.
Manningham has been with the Giants since being drafted in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
He has appeared in 49 games making 160 catches for 2,315 yards and 18 touchdowns.
He had his best season as a pro 2010 when he caught 60 passes for 944 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Manningham was the hero of the Giants Superbowl win over the New England Patriots this year when he hauled in a long pass from Eli Manning in the fourth quarter that eventually led to the game winning touchdown.