The St. Louis Rams are willing to move second overall pick well before April's draft, according to multiple sources involved in the process.
League sources said the Rams are willing to trade their first-round pick far earlier than the norm due to their ongoing conversations with multiple teams regarding their interest in a trade and the likelihood of significant interest in the pick with teams targeting Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Several of the teams interested in the second-overall pick also are monitoring the status of Peyton Manning and/or also have interest in Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who will become a free agent March 13.
The timing can be quite tricky, particularly with all of the unknowns regarding Manning's health. The Rams are willing to do a deal quickly, league sources said, if a team wants to avoid the risk in the situation and decides that Griffin is its best option, and wants to secure the pick prior to having to sort through the market for Manning and/or Flynn.
St. Louis has a strong feeling on what it believes is fair value for the pick, and the deal could come down well before the draft at the end of April if that value is met in March. Rams officials already have had preliminary talks with several teams. Those clubs must also sort through what they believe the market for Manning or Flynn will be like, the cost of signing either player, and, given the risk involved with those veterans, whether gambling on Griffin makes more sense.
While the likelihood of a deal coming together prior to the start of the league year on March 13 isn't great, it's not out of the question, either. The Rams could agree to a deal now for the right price. No trades can be fully consummated and become official until the new league year begins.
Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.