Posted Thu Feb 23rd by Ian Henson
Yesterday Fox Sport’s Adam Shein had an interesting quote that gained little ground around Denver, but sure rang loudly around these parts,
One team Lloyd rules out via free agency is a return to Denver, citing “style of offense”. Hmmm…
— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) February 22, 2012
Brandon Lloyd of course left abruptly after playing two quarters with the Denver Broncos as the Tim Tebow era was ushered in. He of course left to join former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels with the St. Louis Rams in what looked to a marriage made in heaven working with the sensational Sam Bradford.
Only something interesting happened over the rest of the season, Bradford played less than sensationally, McDaniels went on to coach one of the worst offenses in the NFL before leaving at the end of the season to join the New England Patriots on their Super Bowl run and Lloyd ended up an unrestricted free agent begging publicly to join McDaniels in New England. When Lloyd left Denver he had played four games, caught 283 yards and no touchdowns, in his eleven games with St. Louis he was worth an additional 683 yards and five touchdowns, seeing drops in his average, yards after catch and 1st down ratio.
It did make sense to me when Lloyd asked to be traded after Tebow was made the starting quarterback. Lloyd had coasted through his first seven seasons in the NFL before finally being given his chance in his second season with his fourth team– the 2010 Broncos. I cannot imagine him wanting to take a step backwards through his ninth season with a starting quarterback whose very presence probably signaled that Denver was in fact giving up on their season and focusing on rebuilding.
So he left, to a team who ended up with the second overall pick in the 2012 draft, a new head coach and the Broncos ended up losing in the AFC Playoffs in the Divisional Round to the team that Lloyd now wants to play for. Often throughout the season I felt the loss of Lloyd to the offense, in Tebow’s three games as a starting quarterback in 2010 Lloyd accounted for 263 yards and two touchdowns. When Tebow nearly came back to beat the San Diego Chargers after her took over in the second half of the game he owed a lot to an acrobatic catch by Lloyd on a scoring drive.
Lloyd cited the Broncos offensive scheme as the reason he would not return to the team, a direct shot at Tebow– being that Mike McCoy the offensive coordinator under which he had his career season is still in fact the offensive coordinator in Denver. He apparently does not feel he would receive the same amount of targets in a Tebow led offense. Lloyd ignores the fact that there could likely be a departure of Eddie Royal this offseason and despite the emergence of Demaryius Thomas late in 2011 a return of Lloyd to Denver would again make Lloyd the number one receiver on the Broncos.
Instead he would prefer to play under McDaniels on the Patriots where he would likely be a possible third or fourth target at best in an offense that features two tight ends and a phenomenal slot receiver. What Lloyd is forgetting is what happened to Chad Ochocinco who joined New England for his eleventh season (Lloyd is going into his tenth season) and had his worst season as a professional.
Regardless, what Lloyd has said publicly is detrimental to efforts the Broncos will make in free agency towards wide receivers. Lloyd is basically stating that he would rather be a fourth option in an offense that lost the Super Bowl than be a first option and rejoin a playoff team that will be led by Tebow. Lloyd figures to be one of many in a very heavy free agency class of talented wide receivers which includes/is likely to include: DeSean Jackson, Stevie Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe, Robert Meachem, Pierre Garcon, Mario Manningham, and Vincent Jackson.