Rams Land Lloyd

Posted Oct 17, 2011

Looking to fortify their receiving corps with a big play threat they hope can help lead a breakthrough on the scoreboard, the Rams traded for wideout Brandon Lloyd on Monday afternoon.

To acquire Lloyd, the Rams sent a conditional sixth-round choice to Denver. The pick can become a fifth rounder if Lloyd hits certain performance benchmarks. The Rams released receiver Mike Sims-Walker to make room for Lloyd.

“He’s made a lot of big plays in the NFL,” general manager Billy Devaney said. “We saw him up close last year in Denver. He’s got size, good hands, a polished route runner. He’s got a knack for making the big play. We’re going to put him in the mix and off we go.”

The Lloyd deal came about quickly after Denver made him available in the days leading to this week’s trade deadline. The Broncos switched to a more conservative offense under new coach John Fox and Lloyd’s big play skills became less of a commodity.

In St. Louis, Lloyd reunites with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who helped him to his finest season in the league last year.

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to join the Rams,” Lloyd said. “I’m very familiar with the offense and I’m looking forward to playing for Coach (Steve) Spagnuolo and working with Josh McDaniels again. Sam Bradford is a talented young quarterback and I know I’m really going to enjoy playing with him as well.”

That feeling will almost certainly be mutual on Bradford’s end as the Rams have continued their search for consistent production from the receiver position. That group had its best day of the season against Green Bay on Sunday but to this point has struggled with consistency.

In bringing Lloyd to the mix, the Rams get a big play wideout coming off his best year in the league, a year that was by no coincidence a year in which he played in McDaniels’ system.

Lloyd posted a Pro Bowl season in 2010, leading the league in receiving yards with 1,448 on 77 catches and 11 touchdowns. It was by far the best year of his career.

Anybody that you go into a game as a defensive coach and say that you have to adjust things and change things defensively because of this person, that’s pretty good,” Spagnuolo said. “I remember last year when we game planned against them we had to be aware of where he was and change some things coverage wise so that probably speaks volumes right there.”

Nine years into his career, Lloyd has 260 receptions for 4,101 yards and 26 touchdowns. He has ties to the area, playing collegiately at Illinois and as a native of Kansas City.

Here, Lloyd will be asked to step in and contribute right away. He was on a plane to St. Louis on Monday night and is expected to be ready to practice with the team when it re-convenes on Wednesday.

Because Lloyd has so much experience working with McDaniels, it’s not expected that it will take him long to get adjusted in the offense and be ready to contribute this weekend against Dallas.

“I think it’s realistic,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ll see and obviously know more (later this week). There’s no question it makes it a little bit better transition in this regard that he was in this offense last year with the same coordinator. I think the terminology stayed the same from Denver. The learning curve hopefully isn’t as steep.”