The Denver Broncos are reportedly shopping Brandon Lloyd and are looking for something in the neighborhood of a 3rd to a 5th round draft choice to part with him. Of course it is / was only a matter of time before Browns fans got wind of this and started clamoring for him. I get it. The Browns don’t have anyone proven at the spot. While Browns fans might have a point, many have also taken it to ridiculous levels even requesting the services of aging guys like Lee Evans and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The former has two catches for 45 yards with the Baltimore Ravens and the latter has yet to latch on anywhere. What does all of this mean with regard to the Browns and Brandon Lloyd?
Brandon Lloyd is 30 years old himself just like Lee Evans. It seems that Lloyd still has something left in the gas tank as he has 19 catches for 283 yards so far this season. He doesn’t have any TDs yet, but that probably has more to do with Denver’s struggles as a team more than anything he is doing differently since catching 11 touchdowns a year ago. But if he is so good and has so much left in the tank, why are the Broncos looking to move him?
Brandon Lloyd is entering dangerous territory age-wise as a player. Receivers who rely on speed and quickness to get open generally don’t continue to get better as they near and surpass ten years in the league. It just doesn’t happen. Meanwhile, Lloyd is understandably eager to get paid. He outperformed his deal by leaps and bounds last season putting up over 1400 yards on 77 catches. That means whoever gets the opportunity to give up somewhere between a 3rd and a 5th round draft choice is probably going to have to also give him one hefty extension to boot.
Sorry to paint such an ugly picture of the situation for you Browns fans, but I just want to let you in on what the logic might be in Tom Heckert’s office right now. As it is, he is trying to figure out how to get Peyton Hillis signed up to a mutually beneficial contract that won’t overpay the most volatile and oft-injured position (running back) in the NFL. The last thing he wants to invite is an opportunity to overpay a guy who most certainly is in decline despite his gaudy numbers last year with Denver.
But isn’t it setting Colt McCoy back if the Browns don’t give him a legit receiver to throw to? This is about the only argument that makes me think the Browns should just overpay for at least one veteran receiver. Not that I think Colt McCoy is Peyton Manning, but even in getting crushed his rookie year, Peyton Manning had a 26-year-old Marvin Harrison. If the Browns are truly holding back the development of their QB and by proxy their entire offense by not having at least one guy to solidify the offense, then they probably should be in the market for a guy like Lloyd.
I don’t expect it to happen though. The joke around training camp was if a guy wasn’t in his 20′s, he wasn’t a target for Tom Heckert. Brandon Lloyd didn’t fit into that mold then and he doesn’t fit into that mold now. Even if Lloyd comes in and instantly becomes the best receiver on the team, I just don’t see the Browns doing it. Certainly not as they are already having difficulty coming to terms with their own guy who has outperformed his near-league-minimum deal. I have no idea what kind of money Brandon Lloyd is going to want, but I am guessing it is going to be a lot. At 30, this very easily could be Lloyd’s last chance to cash in as an NFL player. So expect the Browns to keep pushing on trying to develop their offense with Mo Mass, Greg Little and hopefully more Evan Moore. They’ll let someone else be Lloyd’s winning lottery ticket.