October 17, 2011

Brandon Lloyd Traded and Other News

It is official, the Broncos traded Lloyd to the St. Louis Rams today in exchange for either a sixth-round draft pick, or fifth rounder if he has 30 catches in the final 11 games this year. More on this story from the DP.

Lloyd said he has not yet talked to Josh McDaniels, the Rams' offensive coordinator who was the Broncos' head coach last season when the receiver had a breakout year of 77 catches, 11 touchdowns and NFL-leading 1,448 yards. But Lloyd had heard that McDaniels and other coaches had been pushing St. Louis general manager Bill Devaney to swing a deal with Broncos GM Brian Xanders in recent days.

"I think it's a good situation for both sides," Lloyd said. "(The Broncos) have an opportunity to take a look at their young guys, see what direction they want to go in. And I get to go into a system where they pass the ball more."

Lloyd became somewhat expendable to the Broncos because Demaryius Thomas, a first-round draft pick last year, and Eddie Royal, a second-round pick in 2008, are returning from lengthy injuries this week. Eric Decker, a third-round pick in 2010, had already been starting opposite Lloyd.

"It stinks that I have to leave Denver," Lloyd said. "But it feels like a smooth transition. I get along with Xanders. My agent David Dunn gets along with Xanders. That's why this was so smooth. This wasn't an angry, disgruntled situation. I loved my time here. If I ever say anything about Denver, the organization, the players, the city, it's a mistake. It's been awesome. I'm not angry, I'm not bitter. I'm ready to go play."

At first glance, it appears the separation between Lloyd and the Broncos was sparked by a money dispute. Lloyd is making $1.395 million in the final year of a two-year deal he signed as free agent late in the summer of 2009. The league's top receivers start at $5 million a year and go north of $10 million.

The Broncos did offer Lloyd a two-year extension that included guarantees to be paid after this season, but there was no upfront signing bonus.

It can't be all about money, though, because Lloyd is happy about his trade to St. Louis even though he is not immediately getting a contract extension.

"That's what I'd like to point out," Lloyd said. "I'm not going to completely dismiss that. But No. 1 was I was being used on the field. No. 2 was the contract. I wanted to be appreciated and the way teams show their appreciation to a player in this business is to pay them accordingly."

Again, Lloyd broke out his enormous laughs.

"Obviously it matters but I want to play where my skill set can reach the best of my abilities," he said.

Lloyd's production did slip this year, partly because he missed a game with a groin strain, but still had 19 catches and no touchdowns in the four games he did play.

His willingness to leave, he said, had nothing to do with the full-time quarterback switch last week from Kyle Orton to Tim Tebow. And indeed, trade discussions had started a couple weeks ago.

"No, the offense changed with coach (John) Fox," Lloyd said. "We still had the same quarterback. There just wasn't as many pass plays being called. Nothing against coach Fox. He's the coach."

With the Rams, Lloyd will join a promising young passing quarterback in Sam Bradford who has struggled to execute McDaniels' pass-oriented offense. The Rams rank 32nd, or dead last, in the NFL with 9.8 points per game — an average of 23.0 fewer points than the Green Bay Packers.

"I think it's a win-win situation for me because I get to go in and try to establish myself in a leadership role," Lloyd said. "It's a role I'm ready for at my age and my career. I think I'm mature enough to handle a leadership role because that was a role I was developing in Denver."

Other trade news

Rumors circulated Monday afternoon that Orton may be on the trade block to Oakland. But Orton has not requested a trade. With a newborn daughter, he does not want to be traded.

Other News

Broncos defensive tackle Ryan McBean was arrested Friday on allegations of stalking in Denver, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.

McBean, who posted a $50,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 28.

McBean was back at Dove Valley Monday morning for team meetings and participated in practice. Head coach John Fox said the team "is aware" of McBean's bye-week arrest.

"We'll let the legal process run its course, but at this point, we're gathering information and, hopefully, the facts," Fox said.

This situation will have to be monitored.

Returning Players

One receiver leaves, three more return.

Just as the Broncos and Rams were finalizing a deal to send Brandon Lloyd to St. Louis, the Broncos began their first post-bye practice with receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal​ and receiving tight end Julius Thomas on the field.

All three players have missed significant time with injuries this season. Royal participated in one practice last week before the bye.

Demaryius Thomas' impending return is especially important considering Lloyd's departure. Arguably the most physically gifted player in the Broncos' receiving corps, the former first-round draft pick is expected to make his season debut Sunday at Miami, helping replace Lloyd as the team's best deep threat. Thomas had surgery to repair an injured Achilles tendon in February and surgery to repair a broken pinky finger in early September.

Today marks only his third practice since last season.

The only player sitting out today's practice is safety Brian Dawkins​, who suffered a head/neck injury against San Diego on Oct. 9.

That is it for today, I will have a 'fun with pictures' post up sometime soon. ~ Aussie.

1 comment:

  1. The Denver Broncos have signed safety Rafael Bush off of the Atlanta Falcons practice squad, the Denver Post is reporting.

    This fills Lloyds spot. There may be more to the Dawkins injury then is being said.