It’s no secret that the San Francisco 49ers are in the market for another wide receiver to add to their talented starting duo of Mciahel Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, as they’ve shown some level of interest in the likes of Julian Edelman, Hakeem Nicks, Emmanuel Sanders, and DeSean Jackson this offseason. CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reports that the 49ers are now in talks with Brandon Lloyd, who had limited interest from contenders last offseason after the New England Patriots unsurprisingly decided not to pay him $5 million. Plenty of people questioned Lloyd’s desire to remain in the league, especially after his zombie movie and questions regarding his bipolar-like character that was a minor concern back in his days with the Denver Broncos. Ultimately, his release from the Patriots came from a lack of production relative to cost, while his lack of interest from NFL teams last year came from his unwillingness to sign a reasonable deal.
The 32-year-old Illinois product caught at least 70 passes in his past three seasons and was excellent in his final full season with the Broncos as someone who could stretch the field deep. However, he was a disappointment in New England, as he averaged a career-low 12.3 yards per reception and offered nothing after the catch with a terribly low catch rate in the mid-50% range. Lloyd has ridiculous ball skills, but there is plenty of uncertainty regarding how much he has left in the tank speed-wise.
It’s clear that the 49ers could use another wide receiver despite having a talented tight end duo led by star Vernon Davis, as well as an intriguing second-year wideout in Quinton Patton. The 49ers, though, need to go for a receiver who can be a playmaker deep downfield or after the catch, and I’m not sure Lloyd would give them that. If he’s motivated and still has speed, then he could make sense on a cheap, no-risk deal for just one season. Lloyd spent the first three seasons of his career with the 49ers, so this wouldn’t be a bad move if the price is right; there is no doubt he has the talent. Even if they do sign Lloyd, I would still expect the 49ers to target a wide receiver in the draft after snagging an impact corner like Kyle Fuller or Bradley Roby in the first.