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Tag:Brandon Lloyd
Posted on: March 1, 2012 10:13 am
Edited on: March 1, 2012 10:48 am
 

Rams have begun contract talks with Lloyd

By Josh Katzowitz

It makes perfect sense that Rams receiver Brandon Lloyd would try to latch onto New England when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Lloyd, the seventh-ranked free agent in our receiver rankings, wouldn’t mind a reunion with his former coach in Denver, Josh McDaniels, now the Patriots offensive coordinator. But that doesn’t mean St. Louis isn’t trying to re-sign him. And that doesn't mean he'd necessarily mind returning to the Rams.

He’s still their best receiver -- he was traded from Denver (to avoid a locker room issue?) in the middle of the season, and in the final 11 games of the season, he caught 51 passes for 683 yards and five touchdowns, all of which led the team -- and as a result, the organization has begun contract talks with him.

That’s what Rams COO Kevin Demoff told Turf Show Times, saying, “We had initial discussions in Indianapolis. We plan to continue talking."

Lloyd, though, is still leaving open the option of playing for McDaniels in New England, telling CBSSports.com during Super Bowl week, “I’d like to consider myself Josh McDaniels' prized pupil. I would like to continue it.” He also said in that same interview that he was excited about the prospects of playing for new coach Jeff Fisher and new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and playing again with quarterback Sam Bradford.

The Rams could use the franchise tag to keep Lloyd, but they’ve also recently said they won’t do it.



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Posted on: February 24, 2012 5:11 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:29 am
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: Wide receiver rankings

The 2012 free-agent wide receivers is a stacked group of players. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Leading up to the start of free agency on March 13, we're compiling the best 2012 NFL free agents by position. These are the wide receivers.

Everyone knows the NFL is a passing league these days and that you need an elite quarterback to succeed. But take a look at the teams who made the playoffs in 2011 and you might just realize that having talented wide receivers is a must too. (Just ask Eli Manning.)

Only the Ravens, 49ers and Broncos bucked the trend, and there are mitigating circumstances. Each of those teams is run-heavy, and each of those teams has burned an early-round pick on a wideout -- Torrey Smith, Michael Crabtree and Demaryius Thomas, respectively -- in the last three years. So it’s not like they’re not trying here.

The need for wideouts was especially glaring amongst the NFL’s dregs: the Jaguars, Rams, Browns, Vikings, Redskins and Buccaneers all have something on common besides their terrible records.

Good news, then, for those teams -- this free-agent class is absolutely stacked with talented wideouts. A good portion of them could be franchise-tagged, but the guys who make it to the market are going to get straight paid.

1. Wes Welker

Breakdown: Welker’s considered the perfect fit for the Patriots, and it’s hard to argue: his numbers working in New England’s system since 2007 are absolutely bananas. 111 catches, 1,221 yards and six touchdowns ... on average. “The Patriot Way” might mean one thing on the field and at press conferences, but in the front office it means not over-paying for veterans who want too much money. That’s what Welker is right now, as he’s reportedly seeking $14-15 million per year, more than the Pats have probably invested in all their wideouts in a long time. Franchise-tagging Welker has “hold-out” written all over it, and there’s a common belief that Bill Belichick will call Welker’s bluff and let him test the market.
Potential Landing Spots: Patriots, Jets, Rams, Bears

2. Mike Wallace

Breakdown: Wallace is a restricted free agent and what happens to him this offseason is one of the more fascinating storylines to emerge from the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. If the Steelers simply tender Wallace at their non-franchise-tag max, a team in need of a deep threat could negotiate a deal with Wallace. Pittsburgh would have the right to match, but they’re in a major cap quagmire right now; if the team offering Wallace the contract simply front-loaded the deal, it would be nearly impossible for the Steelers to retain him.

They’d get a first-round pick in return, and you can bet Kevin Colbert will turn it into something nice. But there’s no better way to hurt your competition than by taking one its best players. Good news emerged for the Steelers on Thursday, as they restructured Ben Roethlisberger's contract and may have gotten under the cap. Now they just need to whack another $10 million off their total and Wallace, who is just 25 and has averaged 66 catches, 1,225 yards and nine touchdowns the past two seasons, can "finish his career" in Pittsburgh.
Potential Landing Spots: Steelers, Ravens, Patriots, Bears

3. Marques Colston

Breakdown: Colston’s the rare player who re-negotiated his rookie contract after just two years. But that’s what happens when you crank out back-to-back seasons with more than 1,000 yards and establish yourself as Drew Brees’ top target. Colston’s no longer the true No. 1 option in New Orleans -- Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles were more involved in the passing game in 2011 -- but he’s got the tools of an elite wide receiver. And at age 28 and as the only guy not sweating a franchise tag, he’s going to get paid like one too.
Potential Landing Spots: Bears, Rams, 49ers

4. Dwayne Bowe

Breakdown: Bowe was a 50/50 shot to make it to the market, because the Chiefs also needed to retain cornerback Brandon Carr. But then KC landed Stanford Routt after the defensive back was discarded by the Raiders. That gives the Chiefs some flexibility with Bowe; they can franchise tag him and try to re-sign Carr later. Bowe’s a hulking presence on the field and a physical receiver capable of acrobatic and explosive plays.

Somehow he’s broken out twice in his short career (no, really, he has, even though he's just 27), and it’s scary to think what he could do in a high-octane offense with an elite quarterback. Don’t expect him to hit the market just yet though; the Chiefs can't afford to lose him in what should be a rebound year for KC's offense. He's well worth the $9.4 million.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs

5. Vincent Jackson

Breakdown: The Bolts reportedly want to pay V-Jax and keep him in San Diego long term. Which is a fantastic sentiment, but one that’s too tardy to get Jackson to take a deal that doesn’t max out his value. Because he was franchised in 2011, his franchise-tag salary for 2012 would be prohibitive. There’s some concern with his off-field history; Jackson's got a pair of DUI arrests on his record. But if A.J. Smith can’t lock him up between now and March 13, he’s going to make a boatload.
Potential Landing Spots: Bears, Chargers, Jaguars, 49ers, Rams

6. DeSean Jackson

Breakdown: The Eagles are expected to use the franchise tag on D-Jax, but there’s also a possibility that they’ll look to deal him elsewhere after locking him into that tag, which means another team would likely shell out an extension for the oftentimes troubling wideout. Howie Roseman said at the combine that the Eagles want to work something out long term with the receiver.

Jackson’s a home-run hitter and one of the most explosive receivers in the game, but he also feels like a powder keg at times. He’s held out from Eagles camp, he’s talked openly about wanting more money, he’s been vulnerable to injury and he’s been accused of not trying his hardest on the field at times. Will that change if he gets a big contract?
Potential Landing Spots: Eagles, Redskins, Bears

7. Brandon Lloyd

Breakdown: It’s considered a near lock that Lloyd will figure out a way to land with in New England; he’s hitched his wagon to new Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. There’s good reason for that: McD is the guy who turned him into a Pro Bowler in Denver and salvaged his career. Lloyd would fit what the Patriots need well, as a wide receiver not named Ochocinco who can actually still stretch the field. But don’t count out the Rams -- Lloyd told us at the Super Bowl that with a new coaching staff in town, he’s certainly interested in sticking around and helping Sam Bradford grow.

There are some concerns with Lloyd. He's older (he'll turn 31 in July), the majority of his success came while working directly with Josh McDaniels. And there's Lloyd's 45.5 percent catch rate (according to Pro Football Focus, that's the fourth-lowest among wideouts who played at least 50 percent of their team's snaps), which could be alarming. But you could also point to the quarterbacks -- Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton, a dinged-up Sam Bradford, Kellen Clemens and A.J. Feeley, as the problem there.
Potential Landing Spots: Patriots, Rams

8. Stevie Johnson

Breakdown: It’s hard not to be fascinated by Johnson. A seventh-round pick out of Kentucky, Johnson came on strong during the 2010 season, catching 82 passes for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns. He repeated the feat in 2011, posting similar, albeit slightly depressed numbers. But it’s also hard not to be frustrated by Johnson. He cost his team a pair of wins -- against the Steelers in 2010 and the Jets in 2011 -- thanks to dropped passes that came after aggressive touchdown celebrations (the drop against Pittsburgh was the week after his "Why So Serious?" shot at Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens).

Johnson says he’s done with those now, but the only way he’s going to get elite money ($8 million per year range) is if someone actually believes him. The one thing no one's talking about with Johnson, though, is his ability to put up big numbers against all-world Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. In four games against the Jets over the past two years, Johnson's piled up 19 catches for 262 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His final performance against Revis in 2011 -- eight catches for 75 yards and a teeter -- should especially have, as Mike Freeman wrote in November, fellow AFC East coaches curious
Potential Landing Spots: Bills, Bengals, Rams, Jaguars, 49ers

9. Reggie Wayne

Breakdown: Lost in the whole Peyton Manning shuffle is the way that the Colts appear to be discarding Wayne, one of the organization’s all-time great receivers. Wayne grew up under Marvin Harrison, honed his craft with Manning and turned into one of the best receivers in the NFL. He’s clearly lost a step at this point, but if a team wants a veteran who can lead in the clubhouse and on the field, or simply someone who runs ridiculous precise crafts and works his tail off to prepare, Wayne’s going to be a fantastic addition. Belichick’s openly stated his admiration for Wayne, so New England’s not out of the question. He could also simply heading wherever Manning lands.
Potential Landing Spots: Patriots, Dolphins, Redskins, Cardinals, Jets

Honorable Mention: Laurent Robinson, Robert Meachem, Mario Manningham, Eddie Royal, Jerome Simpson, Pierre Garcon

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 5:38 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 9:53 pm
 

Broncos traded Lloyd to avoid locker room issues?

Lloyd talks with us in Indy. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

Tim Tebow was officially named the Broncos' starting quarterback during the team's Week 6 bye. Five days before their Week 7 game against the Dolphins, they traded their best offensive weapon, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, to the Rams. It was a confusing move at the time since Denver was 1-4 and the offense was a mess.

But whatever Lloyd provided in terms of big-play abilities (he had 77 receptions for 1,448 and 11 touchdowns in 2010 playing with Kyle Orton and for Josh McDaniels) didn't make up for possible issues that might arise from playing in a run-first, option offense.

The Denver Post's Jeff Legwold explains:

"…[T]he Lloyd deal, which ended up being a fifth-round pick in this coming April's draft in exchange for a player who went to the Pro Bowl after the 2010 season, was made because the Broncos believed the veteran, in a contract year, was going to bristle and potentially become a problem as the offense leaned more and more on the running game.

"Lloyd had not been a problem before the trade, but it was a pre-emptive strike to avoid it. Also, the Rams had several injuries at the position, and the Broncos were able to get a conditional pick — it went from a sixth-round pick to a fifth-round pick because of Lloyd's reception totals — for a player that wasn't going to stay at season's end."

Side note: CBSSports.com's Will Brinson interviewed Lloyd at the Playboy party in Indianapolis during Super Bowl week and he couldn't' have been nicer. And, yeah, Brinson asked him about Tebow.



Still, we understand the Broncos' apprehension with keeping Lloyd around. He was something of an enigma in San Francisco and his two years in Washington can kindly be described as forgettable. It wasn't until McDaniels brought him to Denver that his career took off. And that explains why Lloyd would love to be reunited with McDaniels, now the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

In late December, Lloyd told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “I can’t even lie about that. I’m tied to McDaniels. He uses me differently than other offensive coordinators used me in my entire career. He uses me as an every-play receiver. The short game, mid-range game, gimmick passes, deep balls."

New England is in desperate need of a downfield threat but there is one tiny issue. Lloyd is represented by Tom Condon, who hasn't dealt with the Patriots since 2006, when the two sides were negotiating Ben Watson's rookie contract.

“We pretend there are 31 franchises in the NFL now and they pretend we don’t exist,” Condon once said.

Apparently, that hatchet has been buried.

“I may never like them and they may never like me, but I appreciate that they’re smart guys who usually get what they want," Condon told the Boston Herald last week." I usually get what I want, too, and what I want is what my client wants. … [Lloyd would] like to be with Josh. He’d also like to get paid. I think he’ll be a player teams will be interested in.”

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 2:37 pm
 

Brandon Lloyd would consider Rams return

Brandon Lloyd's pumped about the Rams coaching change. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Brandon Lloyd blew up under Josh McDaniels in Denver and he said earlier in the season that he wants to play wherever McDaniels is coaching, which will be New England in 2012. (And, um, now.)

But Lloyd said Friday night that he wasn't entirely sold on bouncing out of St. Louis just yet, and that with Jeff Fisher and the new coaching staff in place, he's seriously contemplating a return to the Rams.

We also chatted with Lloyd about his time in Denver, the trade and, of course, Tim Tebow.



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Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:20 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 11:24 pm
 

Report: Pats set to interview Josh McDaniels

McDaniels could be headed home with Brady and Belichick. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Despite a miserable 2011 season as Rams offensive coordinator (St. Louis ranked 31st in yards per game and last in points per game), Josh McDaniels remains in pretty hot demand as a coach.

The former Broncos coach was actually the only Rams coach retained in a front-office purge, but St. Louis let it be known they'll release McDaniels from his contract. At this point he's a leading candidate for various openings in Kansas City, and now, he's set to interview with his old team, the Patriots.

Latest Coaching Rumors, News

That last piece of news is courtesy of NFL Network's Albert Breer, who reports that the Pats have received permission to speak with McDaniels and will talk to him over the weekend about the offensive coordinator position vacated by Bill O'Brien's departure to Penn State.

McDaniels, of course, was O'Brien's predecessor, so there's a good chance that he'll ace the interview. Under McDaniels, the Pats offense was beyond prolific, scoring 589 points and ranking first in passing yards, total yards, points, touchdowns and net yards per attempt en route to a 16-0 regular season. (You may have heard of this team.)

Tom Curran of CSN New England noted that the "relationship [is] strong" between Bill Belichick and McDaniels, so it's unlikely that any burnt bridges would negate McDaniels desire to return.

Then there's this: wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, scheduled to be a free agent, already said he wants to go wherever McDaniels goes. Since he already knows McDaniels offense, it's likely he'd be a perfect fit in New England's offense (think a filthy rich man's Deion Branch?) as well, and combined with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, could make the Pats offense absolutely deadly.

But McDaniels is also being courted by the Chiefs; if he's offered the head-coaching job in Kansas City, it might be too difficult for him to turn down in favor of returning to New England.

Given the choice between running the Chiefs offense and running the Patriots offense, however, it's hard to imagine him going anywhere other than New England.

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Posted on: October 28, 2011 12:11 pm
 

Brandon Lloyd says Tebow's timing could be issue

LloydPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Tim Tebow has been taking shots from columnists and football analysts while feeling the love of fans from around the country who find him charming (and, of course, a winner and a leader of men).

His teammates rallied around him last Sunday in beating the Dolphins in overtime, but what about a former teammate who was around Tebow and the Broncos earlier this month?

What does receiver Brandon Lloyd think about Tebow and his chances to lead Denver to … well, anywhere?

“I don’t know. I think only time will tell with that style of play,” Lloyd told ESPN 101 in St. Louis (via sportsradiointerviews.com). “I think it is effective last Sunday, but I just don’t know how effective that style can be over the course of long games and playing formidable opponents.”

Tebow's Progress
Lloyd was then asked about Tebow’s mechanics -- which have been ripped by everybody who knows how to grade a quarterback’s motion and footwork. What about the ball coming out of his hand? Is it that much different than other quarterbacks from whom Lloyd has caught passes?

“It’s just the timing,” Lloyd said. “The timing is an issue. There’s just not that much separation that you can get in the NFL. You got a yard on the guy? That is wide open. [Laughs] You got a yard or two yards on the guy you are wide open, but that window…you are not open very long. Any delay in delivering the ball or any delay and not being in the position to be ready to throw the ball when that separation happens … Not being able to deliver that ball before the separation happens? It just throws a monkey wrench into all the time and anything you are trying to accomplish down the field.”

While I don’t think the “Tebow is simply a winner” meme is a good indication of whether Tebow ultimately will be successful (there’s a difference, after all, between winning in college and winning at the pro level consistently), but if he keeps bringing Denver victories, the Tebow criticisms won’t matter.

But the chances of that happening, many still maintain, are slim.

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Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:40 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 10:41 pm
 

Munchak: We looked at Lloyd, will look at TO too

The Titans could kick the tires on Terrell Owens in the coming weeks. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Titans lost Kenny Britt for the season to a knee injury in Week 3. Days later, the team signed Rams former second-rounder Donnie Avery, who is still learning the offense. That should change soon, though.

“This will be his third week with the team,” head coach Mike Munchak said on his radio show Tuesday (via the Tennessean). “We feel comfortable hopefully that he’ll be able to go in and start pushing the ball down the field a little bit. He’ll start getting more reps in games. We have to start getting him involved and take advantage of some of the things he can do with his speed and his experience.”

Getting Avery more involved may have been important all along, but now it's a necessity. Munchak also revealed that the Titans took a long look at Brandon Lloyd, the big-play wideout who the Rams acquired from the Broncos earlier this week.

“We looked hard at him, no doubt,” Munchak said. “We’ve looked at every opportunity. We’re always looking to upgrade and we lost Kenny Britt … We have young guys we know can step up – Damian Williams and Marc Mariani and Lavelle Hawkins.”

Through four games, Williams, Mariani and Hawkins have combined for 24 receptions, 211 yards and two touchdowns. (Mariani also doubles as a returner where he averages 6.5 yards per punt return and 28.2 yards per kickoff return.)

Munchak cited several reasons why the organization ultimately passed on Lloyd.

“I think it was part business, part what they were looking for at one time as far as what they wanted,” Munchak said. “His contract is also up (after this year), meaning we’d only have him for 11 weeks and then there’s a good chance we could lose him to free agency next year."

In Britt's absence, Nate Washington is the Titans' No. 1 receiver (28 catches, 389 yards, 1 TD). And while the Titans may be happy with Washington's production, they were also interested in adding another downfield target. That not only helps quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, but opens things up in the running game, surely something Chris Johnson would welcome.

“We were looking at [Lloyd] because he is a talent and did have a great year last year. We just played against him a couple of weeks ago, so we know how good he can be. But unfortunately it didn’t get worked out.”

But Tennessee isn't done looking. Munchak said that they'll keep an eye on 37-year-old Terrell Owens when he's healthy.

“That’s something that at some point when (Owens’) health is better and he can pass a physical – people thought the midpoint of the season, maybe – he might be a guy that may be able to to work out to prove where he’s at,” he said. “So of course us, or whoever else, is going to take a look, just like we have with other free agents, to see what kind of shape he’s in.”

Any future Owens might have with the team will be contingent on, among other things, his health, as well as how the Titans' current crop of wideouts perform in the coming weeks.

“A lot is going to depend for us on how we are producing at that (wide receiver) postion three weeks or two weeks from now, and how we’re doing (overall),” Munchak said. “All those things will factor into it. But I’m sure whenever you’ve got a player that has his capabilities, everyone’s going to know exactly where he’s at. If he has a way of helping our team win, then for sure you’re going to take a look at him.”

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Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Mike Sims-Walker headed back to Jaguars

Posted by Will Brinson

Mike Sims-Walker's headed back to the Jaguars, after being cut by the Jaguars, signed by the Rams and cut by the Rams. Get excited, Duval County!

This is based on Sims-Walker's Twitter feed, which features a pair of messages that strongly indicate he'll be returning to Jacksonville.

For starters, Sims-Walker kicked the day off with a "And the phone calls begin ..." tweet, indicating that his agent was getting calls about where he could end up playing.

Shortly thereafter, MSW shouted (the typing version anyway), "Duuuvvvvvaaaallllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!" For those that don't know, Duval County's the home of Jacksonville (see above).

And when asked by a follower if it was a "Mike [Thomas] and Mike [Sims-Walker] sequel," the wideout tweeted "on the way!"

Sims-Walker became extraneous for the Rams when he failed to produce and they managed to swing a trade with Denver to acquire Brandon Lloyd on Monday.

The ex-Jaguar was a healthy scratch in Week 6, indicating exactly how unhappy coach Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was with his production in St. Louis.

And while Sims-Walker won't exactly turn around the Jaguars season, he'll at least provide some experience at wide receiver that should help rookie Blaine Gabbert.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com