Brandon Lloyd

This Date In Transactions History: Broncos Sign Brandon Lloyd

While Josh McDaniels‘ stint in Denver is not remembered fondly, one of the fliers the coach/de facto GM took during his tumultuous tenure turned out to pay big dividends. Ten years ago today, the Broncos signed wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. This led to one of the more randomly great receiving seasons in modern NFL history.

After stays as a starter with the 49ers, Redskins and Bears between 2003-08, Lloyd signed a one-year pact with the Broncos on June 15, 2009. The deal paid him less than $700K. However, the Broncos used the ’09 season as an evaluation period for the former fourth-rounder. Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Stokley resided on the ’09 Broncos, who deactivated Lloyd for 14 games. But their 2010 team relied on him heavily.

McDaniels kept Lloyd in Denver via multiyear deal worth more than $2MM in 2010. Although the Broncos stumbled to one of the worst seasons in franchise history, a 4-12 campaign that included McDaniels’ midseason firing, Lloyd blew up for one of the organization’s greatest receiving showings. After an eight-catch 2009, Lloyd produced 77 receptions, 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns. That yardage total not only led the NFL by a fairly healthy margin, it remains the third-highest single-season figure in Broncos history — trailing only Demaryius Thomas (2014) and Rod Smith (2001). Thomas and Eric Decker took a backseat to Lloyd as rookies.

The then-29-year-old wideout’s showing with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow at that offense’s controls — after the Broncos had parted ways with Marshall and Stokley — earned Pro Bowl acclaim. But less than a year later, the Broncos traded Lloyd to the Rams. A contract dispute, and the team’s Tebow-based shift to one of the more run-centric offenses in recent NFL annals a year later, led to Lloyd’s midseason departure.

Both sides benefited from the exit. Thomas and Decker helped attract Peyton Manning to Denver in 2012, and Lloyd signed a three-year, $12MM deal with the Patriots (who had recently rehired McDaniels) that year. Lloyd, who recorded one 1,000-yard receiving season in 11 NFL campaigns, was the Patriots’ second-leading receiver in 2012 but was released the following offseason.

The conditional pick the Broncos received from the Rams turned into a 2012 fifth-rounder, which became Malik Jackson. The defensive lineman started in both Super Bowl XLVIII and Super Bowl 50 and remains a well-regarded interior presence eight years into his career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Brandon Lloyd Announces Retirement

Veteran wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has announced his retirement from the NFL, tweets Nick Wagoner of According to Wagoner, Lloyd’s announcement, which was made via press release, thanked several coaches and players by name.

Lloyd, who was known for his ability to make acrobatic catches, broke into the NFL as a fourth-round pick in 2003, and spent his first three season with the 49ers. The Illinois product bounced around from San Francisco to Washington to Chicago, and then to Denver, where he had his breakout season in 2010. Having never totaled more than 48 receptions or 733 yards in a season prior to ’10, Lloyd smashed those career highs, racking up a league-leading 1,448 receiving yards along with 11 touchdowns on 77 catches.

A few weeks into the 2011 season, Lloyd was traded by the Broncos to the Rams. At season’s end, he signed a contract with the Patriots, and enjoyed one last productive season in New England in 2012, picking up 911 yards and four touchdowns on 74 receptions.

Most recently, Lloyd played for the 2014 Niners, making him the latest member of that team to announce his retirement, following in the footsteps of Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, and Chris Borland. Lloyd, who turned 34 over the summer, had just 14 catches last season in San Francisco, and had been a free agent since his one-year pact expired.

For his career, Lloyd fell just short of 400 receptions and 6,000 receiving yards, accumulating 399 and 5,989 respectively.

FA Notes: Moss, Copeland, Lloyd, Bishop

As we heard yesterday, Washington coach Jay Gruden wouldn’t hesitate in bringing back veteran wideout Santana Moss. The 35-year-old has played in Washington for the past ten seasons, and he finished last season with ten catches for 116 yards. If he returns, Moss can expect to continue to contribute at a reduced role, considering the presence of fellow receivers DeSean JacksonPierre Garcon, and Andre Roberts. Still, Gruden appreciates the veteran’s role on the field and in the locker room:

“You know what? I could always play with Santana,” Gruden told Mike Jones of the Washington Post. “Santana’s a great person. He’s great in the locker room for us. He knows all the positions. I know he’s going to be in great shape, and I would not hesitate one bit to call him.”

“We’ve talked about everybody. It’s just about when, how. We don’t want — we’ll wait until the draft to see what we have as far as numbers at every position and go from there. You know, that’s something that we know where Santana is, and he knows where we are, and something may work out down the road.”

Some more assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • As we previously heard, linebacker Brandon Copeland has received interest from multiple teams following his performance at the Veteran Combine. “My phone’s been ringing,” he told Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. “It’s been pretty good so far. I’m not going to say what teams, but four teams have offered me contracts so far. It was definitely successful for me to go to the veteran combine.” Among the teams showing interest in Copeland are the Lions, EaglesBengalsChiefsColtsGiants and Titans.
  • Meanwhile, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the 49ers are not among the estimated 13 teams to have shown some level of interest in Copeland.
  •’s Paul Gutierrez says the 49ers haven’t had any conversations with wideout Brandon Lloyd. He notes that the team previously has little interest in bringing back linebacker Desmond Bishop, but he acknowledges that the mindset may have changed following the roster overhaul.
  • Some have drawn comparisons between the Texans signing of Ed Reed last offseason and their addition of free agent Vince Wilfork this year. Texans owner Bob McNair recognizes the difference, however. “I think the difference is when you have someone at a position where they have to be able to run, then age is more of a consideration,” McNair told’s Tania Ganguli. “We thought Ed was in good shape and was going to be able to come down and play and he was a big disappointment. At nose tackle, you don’t have to run that much. He’s got to be strong. So there’s some positions you can play for more years and you aren’t taking as much risk.

WR Rumors: Marshall, V-Jax, Wallace, Harvin

With Reggie Wayne‘s NFL future still up in the air, the Colts have explored the possibility of bringing in a veteran wide receiver to start opposite T.Y. Hilton, says Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). According to Cole, the team has internally discussed players like Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson, Mike Wallace, and Vincent Jackson as potential targets. Not all of those players will become available in the next few weeks, but one or more could be traded or released, and if the Colts had their pick, Marshall may be their top choice, per Cole.

While we wait to see if any opportunities open up for the Colts, Jason La Canfora of has a few more tidbits for us on the wide receiver market. Let’s dive in….

  • Cole noted in the above video that Jackson likely isn’t going anywhere, and La Canfora agrees that it looks like he’ll be back with the Buccaneers. However, it doesn’t seem as if Jackson will be willing to take a pay cut, sources tell La Canfora.
  • La Canfora also touches on the Marshall situation, noting that if a team were to call asking about a possible trade, “it’s not like [the Bears] wouldn’t pick up the phone.”
  • According to multiple general managers, Wallace is the only wideout being “actively shopped” at the moment. The Dolphins continue to explore a deal, and La Canfora suggests Wallace himself would be interested in returning to the Steelers, though it’s not clear if that interest is mutual. $3MM of Wallace’s base salary for 2015 becomes guaranteed on March 13, so that may act as a deadline of sorts for Miami.
  • Percy Harvin won’t accept a pay cut to stick with the Jets, and trading him would likely be impossible, so he looks like a good bet to be cut. If that happens, many teams would want to pick him up on a short-term deal, says La Canfora.
  • We can expect the Dwayne Bowe situation to come to a head soon — paying him $11MM with a $14MM cap hit is a luxury the Chiefs can’t afford, so Bowe may be willing to accept a pay cut, knowing he won’t make close to that amount on the open market.
  • With cap numbers for Anquan Boldin and Stevie Johnson on the rise, and Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd eligible for free agency, La Canfora wouldn’t be surprised if only one of those four players returns to the 49ers for next season — if that.
  • Johnson and the Texans had a bit of a stand-off a year ago, and with the veteran wideout carrying a $16MM into the 2015 season, the two sides may be headed for another interesting summer. La Canfora isn’t convinced Johnson will remain in Houston long-term, but says “time will tell.”
  • Two Dolphins wideouts have already been released today, and according to Armando Salguero the Miami Herald (Twitter links), Rishard Matthews asked the team to be cut or traded as well. However, Miami has denied that request for now, says Salguero.

49ers Notes: Extensions, Harbaugh, Lloyd

As their new agreement with defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey exhibits, the 49ers are continuing their pattern of extending players whose leverage may be lacking due to injuries, their spot on the depth chart, or various other factors. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle points out (via Twitter) that the Niners locked up Alex Boone, Daniel Kilgore, and Ian Williams before those players became starters, and Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap notes (via Twitter) that strategy has allowed the club to create several team-friendly contracts and compile plenty of depth.

Of course, as Fitzgerald adds (via Twitter), the downside of signing players early to club-friendly deals is that when someone like Boone significantly outplays that contract, it can result in a stand-off like the one taking place between the team and the veteran guard right now. As we wait to see how the Boone situation is resolved, let’s check in on a few other Niners-related items….

  • Based on conversations Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News has had with NFL sources – many of whom know Jim Harbaugh well – Kawakami says 80% of the people he has spoken to believe there’s a “strong chance” this will be Harbaugh’s last season with the 49ers. While that doesn’t necessarily mean the Niners will have a new head coach for the 2015 season, it means 2014 is a crucial year for Harbaugh and the team. Anything less than a Super Bowl win could end up resulting in “some very tense and possibly very unsatisfactory discussions” between the two sides during the offseason, says Kawakami.
  • When Colin Kaepernick first signed his extension this summer, he said he hoped that by not pushing for every last dollar, he’d created some flexibility for the 49ers to sign or extend other players. Asked yesterday whether he wants to see the team use that added flexibility to sign Boone or anyone else in particular, Kaepernick declined to weigh in, suggesting it’s up to the front office to decide how to spend the club’s money. Eric Branch has the details and quotes.
  • Veteran wideout Brandon Lloyd, who signed with the Niners this offseason, has a “real good chance” to make the regular-season roster, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link), who adds that the former Pro Bowler has bonded with Anquan Boldin. Lloyd didn’t play last season, but is only two years removed from a 74-catch season in New England.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, 49ers, Lloyd

Even with news (via a tweet from The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta) that they’d be receiving their Super Bowl rings following Thursday’s practice, things got a bit heated at Seahawks minicamp this afternoon.

As Condotta writes in his Seahawks blog, the fracas began when wideout Bryan Walters hurt his shoulder after attempting a diving catch. Safety Earl Thomas was covering the play, and while Condotta didn’t have a clear view on the amount of contact, Seattle’s offensive players seemed to think it was a dirty hit.

The two teams jawed at each other before lining up for another play. While running down field, wide receiver Phil Bates and cornerback Richard Sherman got locked up and the fists came out. Bates appeared to have thrown a punch before the players were broken up. Thomas and receiver Doug Baldwin continued to jaw at each other while Percy Harvin had to be held back by Marshawn Lynch.

Practice soon resumed, and (perhaps intentionally) Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” was soon heard playing.

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn had an explanation:

“They are such a tight group of guys that they don’t want to give an inch sometimes, both offensively and defensively. Most good teams are close and tight like that where they can practice like that. They were just having fun.”

Fun…that sounds about right. Let’s check out other news from the NFC West:

  • Seahawks tackle Russell Okung has left Authentic Athletix and is believed to be without an NFL agent at present, tweets Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal.
  • 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh says the 49ers are unlikely to fill their 90th roster spot until after minicamp, tweets Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. San Francisco had a spot open up after the retirement of Eric Wright.
  • 49ers wideout Brandon Lloyd kept busy during his season off and rarely thought about football. However, when he came across the opportunity to join the team that drafted him in 2003, it was something that Lloyd couldn’t refuse. “It was more about getting to play with the 49ers again, and the opportunity to win, and maybe bring a certain amount of closure to my career,” he told Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today. “I don’t think there was anything that I was pushing hard for. The opportunity presented itself to me.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC Mailbags: Giants, Panthers, 49ers, Saints

It’s Saturday and that means a fresh batch of mailbags from ESPN’s NFL writers. Let’s take a look at some notes from the NFC…

  • The Giants‘ need for a tight end does not offset their need on the offensive line, writes Dan Graziano. The team added four lineman in free agency, but Graziano believes the team needs to “address the problem in a meaningful, sustainable, long-term way.”
  • Graziano guesses that Giants safety Will Hill will be suspended and subsequently cut. General Manager Jerry Reese said that the team would wait out the appeal process.
  • Taking into account the uncertain future of Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson‘s age and Frank Alexander‘s four-game suspension, the Panthers should select a defensive end in the first round, opines David Newton. Wide receiver and offensive tackle may be the popular picks, but Newton sees value at those positions in the second and third round.
  • Newton projects a longterm deal between the Panthers and Hardy would be in the four-year range, worth $13MM to $15MM a season.
  • The signing of Brandon Lloyd shouldn’t affect the 49ers‘ draft plans at the position, writes Bill Williamson. Anquan Boldin is getting older and Michael Crabtree is entering the final season of his contract, so the position is still a need.
  • Mike Triplett can see the Saints drafting center’s Marcus Martin or Weston Richburg in the first round. The writer attributes Sean Payton‘s history of not selecting offensive lineman in the first round to “happenstance.”
  • Triplett believes the Saints still have interest in Jonathan Goodwin. Triplett adds that the veteran could be a fallback plan if the team’s doesn’t land a center in the early rounds.

49ers Sign Brandon Lloyd

WEDNESDAY, 1:22pm: Lloyd’s deal includes no guaranteed money, a source tells Matt Maiocco of However, the wide receiver can earn $1.005MM on the deal. He’ll get a $955K base with $50K available through a workout bonus. The deal doesn’t have a signing bonus or incentives.

TUESDAY, 12:17pm: The 49ers have signed free agent wide receiver Brandon Lloyd to a one-year contract, the team announced today in a press release. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

Lloyd, who is just two years removed from a 74-catch season, reportedly received inquiries from at least six teams last fall, including the 49ers, but rejected all overtures. A Pro Football Talk report at the time suggested Lloyd was “neither physically nor mentally ready” to continue his playing career at that point, but it seems the 32-year-old has changed his stance since then.

The 49ers pursued receivers like Julian Edelman and Emmanuel Sanders earlier in the offseason, but were only able to lock up their own free agent wideout, Anquan Boldin. That left San Francisco with a solid 1-2 punch of Boldin and Michael Crabtree, but the club was clearly looking for alternatives at the No. 3 spot. Lloyd, who was originally drafted by San Francisco in 2003, will presumably have the upper hand for that third receiver role over players like Quinton Patton and Jonathan Baldwin.

Matt Maiocco of first reported last week that the Niners were in talks with Lloyd about a possible comeback.

49ers In Talks With Brandon Lloyd

After voluntarily sitting out the 2013 season, veteran wideout Brandon Lloyd may be mulling the possibility of returning for 2014. According to Matt Maiocco of, the 49ers have engaged in talks with Lloyd about a potential comeback.

Lloyd, who is just two years removed from a 74-catch season, reportedly received inquiries from at least six teams last fall, including the 49ers, but rejected all overtures. A Pro Football Talk report at the time suggested Lloyd was “neither physically nor mentally ready” to continue his playing career at that point, so we’ll have to see if the 32-year-old has changed that stance.

As for the 49ers, they pursued receivers like Julian Edelman and Emmanuel Sanders earlier in the offseason, but were only able to lock up their own free agent wideout, Anquan Boldin. That leaves San Francisco with a solid 1-2 punch of Boldin and Michael Crabtree, but the club is clearly looking for alternatives at the No. 3 spot. If Lloyd were to sign with the Niners, he would presumably have the upper hand for that third receiver role over players like Quinton Patton and Jonathan Baldwin.