|After Pro Bowl season, Brandon Lloyd could be traded. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
We're two full days into Tim Tebow's reign as the Broncos starting quarterback and it appears that players not named Kyle Orton could be losing their jobs, too. The Denver Post, citing three NFL sources, says the team has put wide receiver Brandon Lloyd on the trading block.
Lloyd was one of the league's best wideouts a season ago, hauling in 77 passes for 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns. He credited much of his success to Orton, who now has to tell people that he's Tebow's understudy. In four games this season, Lloyd has 19 catches for 283 yards and is still looking for his first score.
According to the Post's Mike Klis, several factors have landed Lloyd on the trading block although this is easily the most interesting: "The Broncos are expected to shift to a more ball control, run-oriented offense with Tim Tebow taking over at quarterback following the demotion of Kyle Orton."
So now, five weeks into the season -- and after a 1-4 start -- head coach John Fox (and presumably the front office) is all-in on Tebow. This is after the organization reportedly had penciled Tebow in as the starter over the summer … except Orton was never traded to Miami and when the lockout ended he still had the gig.
So, yeah, the Broncos have a lot going on during their bye week.
Two more reasons Denver's looking to move Lloyd (again, via Klis):
One, he is a free agent after this season and while the Broncos and Lloyd have briefly discussed a contract extension, nothing is close to materializing.Lloyd is making $1.395 million this season, which is a bargain based on his 2010 production. Apparently, the Broncos are asking anywhere from a third- to a fifth-round pick for Lloyd, and "three or four" teams have expressed interest, including Carolina and Tennessee.
Two, the Broncos' receiving core is about to get crowded after this weekend's bye with the return of Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal. Lloyd, 30 and in his ninth NFL season, has been starting at receiver alongside Eric Decker, a third-round pick in the 2010 draft.
Worth remembering: it took Lloyd seven seasons and four teams before he became a breakout player. He doesn't need a Hall of Fame quarterback to have success, but he does need to be in a system that fits his talents. For all his shortcomings, Josh McDaniels got the most out of Orton and Lloyd.
While trading Lloyd may seem extreme for a Denver team in dire need of playmakers, he wasn't going to put up 2010 numbers with Tebow under center. You can quibble about the decision to bench Orton, but that ship has sailed. Now that the choice has been made, the Broncos might as well get a draft pick for Lloyd while they can.
In the meantime, we look forward to Skip Bayless' reasoned response to all this.
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