T-minus four days until the NFL trade deadline.
And maybe just as many days Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has a Bronco.
Citing multiple NFL sources, The Denver Post reports Lloyd is on the trading block, and a handful of teams – including Carolina and Tennessee – are interested. Neither the Broncos nor Lloyd are commenting. Players are right now on a four-day break and return to practice Monday, and this will inevitably something John Fox is asked about.
Insiders speculate Denver will want a third- to fifth-round draft pick for Lloyd.
Don’t expect a deal this weekend; the Broncos are off, but chances are, talks won’t intensify until after Week 6 is over. Even then, it’s no guarantee anything happens. The NFL trade deadline usually ends with a whimper rather than a bang.
Denver has been down this road before. Remember August? The Broncos tried to ship Kyle Oton to Miami, but that fizzled out, which begs the question:
Is Lloyd the only offensive player on the trading block?
My guess is yes. Miami had its chance on Orton two months ago and passed. Instead, the Dolphins settled on Chad Henne, who is now out for the season, but quickly filled that vacancy by signing ex-Dolphins QB Sage Rosenfels. Besides, Orton hasn’t exactly played himself into “tradeworthy” status this season, at least for what Denver would want in exchange, and then there’s learning a whole new offense.
And, maybe most obvious of all, Tim Tebow is the starting quarterback…for now.
Beyond Lloyd and Orton, who else makes the trade discussion? I can’t name any serious contender.
Do I want to see Lloyd play elsewhere? No, but I understand the business side of things. He’s a free agent next season (as is WR Eddie Royal), has no contract extension in place just yet, and Denver does have other receiving options.
Still, I’m reluctant to call Demaryius Thomas a viable “option” until I see him play a significant stretch of games without injury. Hasn’t happened yet.
Lloyd did miss a game this season with a groin strain, and his numbers are down so far, but he remains one of Denver’s most reliable players. Even if the Broncos make offense scheme adjustments to better suit Tebow’s talents, opposing defenses will still make covering Lloyd a priority. Can you say that about another Denver wide receiver? Eric Decker may become the focus of double coverage. Doubtful for Royal, and again, Thomas is such an unknown.
Who would become the Broncos No. 1 receiver? If Lloyd leaves, it’s just another offensive question that needs an answer.