By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The Washington Redskins released wide receiver Brandon Lloyd yesterday, ending his tumultuous and unproductive two-year tenure with the team. Lloyd, who had a reputation for disruptive behavior with San Francisco before Washington dealt two draft picks for him, caught just 25 passes with the Redskins and scored no touchdowns.
His release, long anticipated, does not save Washington any immediate salary cap space, with the free agency and trade period beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, but will create additional room this June. Lloyd, who could not be reached to comment, was designated a June 1 cut for salary cap purposes, executive vice president Vinny Cerrato said, which means his salary cap figure of $4.2 million will drop to $1.8 million on June 1. (Lloyd will count $5.5 million in dead cap space in 2009.)
Owner Daniel Snyder and Cerrato have made acquiring an elite wide receiver a top priority this offseason, with Lloyd's departure an expected precursor. Team officials have serious interest in trading for Cincinnati's Chad Johnson should be become available, sources said, while free agents Randy Moss and D.J. Hackett are possible targets as well.
The Redskins had hoped Lloyd would be a deep threat when they traded third- and fourth-round picks for him in March 2006 and renegotiated his contract to include a $10 million signing bonus. Several teammates believed he was the most talented wideout on the team, but he clashed with coaches, team employees and other players shortly after arriving and lost his starting job during his first season here.
Lloyd was suspended for one game in 2006 after throwing his helmet on the sidelines and unleashed a profanity-laced tirade at wide receivers coach Stan Hixon during his first offseason here, team sources said. Coach Joe Gibbs also left Lloyd off of a road trip to New York last season after he missed a mandatory meeting, and he was essentially a spectator in 2007 between injuries and his dwindling role in the offense. He caught two passes for 14 yards last season.
Still, some players, including star running back Clinton Portis, said they lobbied to get Lloyd more playing time, and believed he could contribute if given a greater opportunity on game day. But Lloyd was also averse to running certain patterns.
Washington began signing veteran depth wide receivers early in 2007, with Lloyd being phased out and the club loath to pick up Lloyd's $1.8 million roster bonus this spring. Lloyd earned more than $11 million including salary here and becomes an unrestricted free agent. In 23 games with the Redskins, he had 378 receiving yards.
Redskins Notes: The team completed a restructuring of tackle Chris Samuels's contract that, combined with tackle Jon Jansen's restructured contract, has created $6.3 million in salary cap space, a source said. They are also on the verge of a reworked deal with Santana Moss that would save several million more, with other players still candidates for renegotiations. . . . Ray Thal, the Redskins' longtime surgeon, is no longer with the team, sources said, and the Redskins are looking for new local orthopedic specialists. They have expanded the team's staff of rehab specialists as well.