<
>

What does Brandon Lloyd signing mean?

4/15/2014

Brandon Lloyd is not the big-hit free-agent addition that DeSean Jackson or Julian Edelman would have been for the San Francisco 49ers.

But for the one season he has signed for, Lloyd might be able to help the team. Lloyd, 32, didn't play last season, but he did enjoy late-career success. He led the NFL in receiving yardage in 2010 with Denver and had 74 catches for the Patriots in 2012.

So there is reason to believe Lloyd can help the 49ers as a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver. But if he doesn't have a good camp, I could also see the 49ers moving. This is a low risk, look-see deal.

Let's take a look at whom the signing can affect:

Who could be affected: Kassim Osgood and Jonathan Baldwin. If Lloyd makes the team, Baldwin will likely be out. The team re-signed Osgood this offseason because he is a huge part of the special teams. But the 49ers will likely not keep more than six receivers. If Lloyd makes the team, it will be him, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Quinton Patton and likely a rookie. Osgood would be the sixth man and perhaps become vulnerable, depending on needs at other positions.

Who it doesn't affect: Patton and the team's plans to take a receiver early in the draft. Patton finished the season strong in 2013 as a rookie. The team will allow him to develop as quickly as he can. If he's ready to be the No. 3 receiver in 2014, he will probably get the job. Lloyd and Boldin are 33 and Crabtree is a free agent after this season. San Francisco will take a receiver in the draft, no doubt about it.

The Lloyd signing is simply a chance to see if the team can get a productive season from a veteran who has produced recently.