By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 10, 2006
The Washington Redskins are exploring available options for acquiring San Francisco wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, but completing such a deal could prove difficult because Lloyd is a restricted free agent.
Lloyd, 24, has been unable to agree to a long-term deal with the 49ers and is free to negotiate with any team, but he received a one-year qualifying offer from San Francisco that would require a first-round draft pick as compensation should he sign elsewhere. The Redskins do not have a first-round selection in next month's draft, but could work out a package of other assets for the player and sign him to a multiyear contract. No trades can be completed until 12:01 a.m. Saturday, when teams can also begin contact unrestricted free agents from other clubs.
The Redskins declined to comment for this story through a team spokesman, but club officials have not hidden their desire to add a wide receiver to complement Pro Bowler Santana Moss. Like Moss, Lloyd has a flair for acrobatic catches, can get downfield and is just entering his prime. Lloyd (6 feet, 184 pounds) led a lowly 49ers offense with a career-best 48 receptions for 733 yards, and also produced five touchdowns. He was a fourth-round pick in 2003.
There are few elite wide receivers available in unrestricted free agency, and Lloyd may come cheaper than some of the alternatives while possessing more "upside." Antwaan Randle El (Pittsburgh) is a versatile threat, but not the prototype possession receiver; Antonio Bryant (Cleveland) has clashed with coaches in the past; and Isaac Bruce (St. Louis), at 33, could be more of a fallback option for Washington. Seattle's Joe Jurevicius and New England's David Givens have the size, skill and body type to fill the Redskins' needs as well.
Lloyd, an aspiring recording artist, posted three 100-yard games last season for one of the NFL's weakest teams, and has been with San Francisco since leaving Illinois after his junior season.
Two league sources suggested Lloyd's teammate, linebacker Andre Carter, is a serious candidate to be pursued by Washington as well.
Carter, 26, whose father, Ruben, is a former NFL defensive lineman, is an unrestricted free agent and has played linebacker in a 3-4 system, which Washington employs in certain situations. The Redskins are seeking more of a pass rush from the outside, and Carter (6-4, 265 pounds), the seventh overall pick in 2001, posted a career-best 12 1/2 sacks in 2002, but was limited to seven games because of injury in 2004 and was not in peak form last season (4 1/2 sacks).
Defensive end John Abraham (New York Jets) is available via trade, but the Jets reportedly want at least a first-round pick in return, while free agents Darren Howard (New Orleans), Anthony Weaver (Baltimore) and Aaron Kampman (Green Bay) could be options as well.
A source close to Baltimore defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu said the player anticipates interest from the Redskins once the free agency period begins. The Redskins could also add depth in the secondary (St. Louis safety Adam Archuleta has been linked with the team in various reports) and offensive line and perhaps pursue a kicker and/or punter as well.
With backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey being shopped, Washington could add insurance there as well by going after an experienced third-stringer to serve behind starter Mark Brunell and rookie Jason Campbell.