July 22, 2014

Should the Browns Be Interested in Brandon Lloyd?

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.

 

  • Lyon

    not for a 3rd & 5th. Especially with him wanting a new contract.

    just throw to little, moore, & watson more, then use a draft pick on a WR. no more old WRs please.

  • mgbode

    the only reason that Lloyd could be a consideration over some of the other 30+ WRs that were out there (Lee Evans, Breaston, Ocho, TO, Randy) is that Lloyd runs very precise routes and could be a fantastic mentor in that role while providing Colt a guy who he can rely to be in the correct spots on the field.

    Honestly though, Lloyd will go to a contender that is weak on WR-depth and it is the right call for the Browns to pass and let the kids play and prove who is apart of our longterm future.

  • stin4u

    I don’t see the harm in dangling a 5th rounder for him. Realistically he’s better than any receiver you’re likely to get in that position and he’s a good stop gap. It then allows you to play around with your two first rounders a bit (even though I’m still in favor of them spending one on Jeffery/Blackmon/Floyd).

    Not sure why they would want to drop him though.

  • oribiasi

    I think the article states that Denver wants a 3rd OR 5th, not both. I think Lloyd is worth a 3rd or 4th round pick, honestly. But, then, we likely don’t want to do much this year (or, rather, the front office doesn’t think we will do much this year), so I guess having him during a year like this one isn’t worth much.

    I see him going to a pass happy team that already had some solid receivers and just wants one more good option. He would absolutely be better than anything we currently have, I think.

  • Pale Dragon

    You make a midseason move like this if you are just the one piece away from competing for the playoffs. Of if you are a team like Houston that loses a key player to injury and needs a stopgap replacement.

    For a team like the Browns that is not a playoff team, stick with the young players you have and focus on development for the future. Every rep the young players get this year helps them next year.

  • oribiasi

    Note: As a somewhat interesting side note, the Browns picked Owen Marecic (3rd round) and Jason Pinkston (5th round) this previous year.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    ….and both are starters.

  • oribiasi

    @ Scott: Perhaps that says more about our team than I would like to think about on a happy Friday.

    Also, I forgot Buster Skrine is a fifth round pick, who may also be starting this week.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    That is the one factor that is really hard for Browns fans to come to grips with. Draft picks are worth a whole lot more if you have some faith in the guy using them. So far, Tom Heckert has been pretty shrewd in the draft for the Browns. Eventually our confidence will catch up and we’ll look at draft picks like the gold they should be considered.

  • Tim K.

    @oribiasi

    Marecic was a 4th round pick.

  • -bobby-

    I was aware of his age. I was all for giving up 1 of 2 4th rounders to egt a guy like him but I thought he was around 28 with a year or two left in “prime”

  • Primo

    I agree. Let’s just keep sucking every year! The draft = the Browns fans’ Super Bowl. I’m sure Robiskie just needs some reps. Fans need to be patient. We’ll just draft a good receiver, no problem. Why worry about acquiring a guy who has averages double-digit ypc the last 3 seasons? With our poor offensive line, who needs to make defenses stay honest by having decent receivers and running backs? Just let them crowd the box. I LOVE 4-yard passes!

  • TSR3000

    @12- The tone of your post matches with your picture perfectly, haha. While I share in your impatience, Lloyd is not the answer to our prayers.

  • oribiasi

    @ Tim K.: No, he wasn’t: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Marecic
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_NFL_Draft

    He was drafted in the 4th round, pick 124.

  • oribiasi

    @ TSR3000: The real problem is that we have more prayers than draft picks. We have more holes in our boat than plugs. Use whatever analogy you like.

    He would fill one of the holes. He wouldn’t be a long-term solution, I agree; but he is more than we have currently.

  • oribiasi

    @ Tim K: Aww crap, I goofed. Sorry. It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday…

  • Primo

    Yes. I’m sure we’ll end up with a prayer-answer-er in the draft with that mid-round pick.

    I say draft a WR who will need 2-3 years to get to NFL-caliber – and I don’t think that development will at all be slowed when your best mentor is going to be Mohamed Massaquoi – and then when 2015 comes around, look out NFL! The Browns will be lethal!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    If he could be had for a fifth, with no contract extension stipulation, I think it is a no-brainer to do the deal. However, given the points Craig makes about a new long term deal I would pass as well.

  • TJ

    He’ll go to the Jets. We don’t need him. Spend both of our first rounders to trade up to the top 5 (if we’re not already there) and draft Justin Blackmon. Bam.

  • oribiasi

    Is anyone else worried about Blackmon’s size? He is 6’1″/215lbs. The dude does produce, I will give you that, but they aren’t exactly playing world-beaters over there in OKST.

  • TobaccoRoad

    I understand Heckert’s philosophy of accumulating picks and love it. This roster is leaps-and-bounds better that it was just two years ago.

    But to make a legitimate decision on whether McCoy is the long-term guy, you have to give him more than Little, Massaquoi and Ben Watson. I’m not saying Lloyd is the guy they need to get, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea either.

  • oribiasi

    @ TobaccoRoad — AMEN. You said. If you really want to give McCoy a solid, legit chance at being an NFL-caliber QB, then you have to give him he tools to be one. Plain/simple.

  • Ron

    Lyon, I agree but the rumored asking price for Lloyd is somewhere BETWEEN a 3rd and a 5th round choice NOT a 3rd AND a 5th.

  • Tim

    While Lloyd may not be a good piece to add, I don’t understand the reluctance to sign any free agents at all or make any moves. It’s not like a decent veteran who is relatively cheap will hurt the salary cap and hurt the development if our young players. It’s not like we have to sign 10 guys to $30 million deals, just one receiver would be nice. Every good NFL team has a mix of youth and experience.

  • Ryan

    There are a lot of big name WR’s that will be free agents next year. Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne, DaSean Jackson, Mike Wallace (restricted), Mario Manningham, Pierre Garcon, Marques Colston, Steve Johnson, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Steve Smith (PHI), Robert Meachem.

    Any one of those players listed above would provide a huge boost to the Brown’s receiving core. I think they already have the big physical guy in Greg Little, now they need someone to counter that, a reliable receiver who runs nice routes and has soft hands. Steve Smith would be the perfect fit for the Browns. He’ll be a year removed from his knee surgery, he will come cheap and provide stability for McCoy. Steve Johnson might be the best all-around when you factor in his age and that he hasn’t had nearly the exposure of the bigger names like Bowe and Colston.

    I personally think the Browns should trade for Wayne if the asking price wasn’t outrageous. I realize that he is 32 but I don’t think that matters in Wayne’s case since he has never relied on his speed to produce, he’s gotten by through his excellent body control, his perfect route running, and having some of the most reliable hands in the history of the NFL. Yes, playing with Peyton has padded his stats a little but he would still be arguably the best receiver in the game over the past 10 years.

  • Freddie Jackson

    The Browns have totally forgotten how to win and do not intend to win because they are filing the seat with a legendary, embarrasing lossing record. Why pay top players mega money to come to Cleveland. Win or surely lose they will make bank every year!