The St. Louis Rams made a surprising, at least to me, trade for Brandon Lloyd on Monday. It's reported that the compensation is a 6th round pick and will become a 5th round pick if Lloyd can get 30 receptions the rest of the season. The 49ers were also rumored to be interested, mostly due to Joshua Morgan being lost for the season.
It would be nice to say, "Hey look, we have Braylon Edwards, Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd as our top three receivers, but the 49ers really don't need Lloyd. The 49ers use so many two tight end sets that we would rarely see all three of those guys on the field at one anyways. You might as well regard Delanie Walker as the third receiver when Edwards comes back.
Giving up a 5th or 6th round pick for a rental player isn't something a team that has said they want to build through the draft does. Lloyd reportedly burned a lot of bridges in San Francisco as well and does have a bit of a diva attitude. Maybe he's grown up, but I wouldn't want to potentially mess with the great locker room the 49ers have. He's also never really been into the whole blocking thing, so I just don't think he would have been a good fit here.
The Rams, however, do have a need for Brandon Lloyd. Sam Bradford hasn't had any big play receivers since he was drafted last year and his top target, Danny Ammendola, is already out for the season. Lloyd should bring the big play threat this team has been missing.
That being said, the Rams are already 0-5 and five games back in the NFC West. They face the Dallas Cowboys next week and then the New Orleans Saints. Brandon Lloyd is not going to save them from what looks to be an 0-7 start. At best, the Rams somehow win one of those games. They do have a more favorable schedule towards the end of the year, but they still have to face the 49ers twice.
I just don't see Lloyd making a difference in the standings for the Rams. They still have major concerns on defense, especially in the secondary. He did start his college career at cornerback at the University of Illinois, but I don't see him pulling a Troy Brown and playing both sides of the ball with any success. He'll make some highlight worthy catches and make the Rams offense more interesting.
Lloyd is also on the final year of his current contract. He could end up being a 2 months rental player, and the Rams are more than just a big play receiver away from winning the NFC West. If they cannot re-sign him, then all they have done is spent a draft pick on making Sam Bradford just a little bit happier for the rest of the season.
I don't see this move affecting the Rams and the rest of the division that much at all. If anything, the Rams potentially saved the 49ers from themselves, but that's assuming the 49ers were genuinely interested in the first place. Here are Lloyd's 2010 season highlights in case you haven't seen much of him.