NFL free agency is truly the bizarro world of professional sports. How else would you explain reports that came out Tuesday night indicated that Brandon Lloyd is planning to visit with the San Francisco 49ers?
It wasn't too long ago that the 49ers traded Lloyd to the Washington Redskins for a couple draft picks because he was a "cancer" in the locker room. The former fourth-round pick alienated himself from teammates, leading many to believe that his talents were going to be wasted.
Lloyd didn't last an entire two seasons with the Redskins and was released after a 23-game stint saw him put up some horrible numbers.
He led the NFL with over 1,400 receiving yards and caught 77 passes en route to earning his first Pro Bowl appearance.The talent was finally paying off on the football field for the enigmatic receiver.
Yet the Broncos didn't seem to think that Lloyd was in their long-term plans and traded him to the St. Louis Rams prior to the trade deadline last season. He gained nearly 1,000 yards receiving between the two teams in 2011.
Now we have come full-circle with Lloyd and the 49ers. As I mentioned above, the two will be meeting today and could conceivably come to a contract agreement.
Is it a good idea?
I would have to conclude that Lloyd returning to the 49ers is a great idea. He would give them that downfield threat in the passing game that they have been missing. He has the ability to stretch the field on the outside, possesses extremely soft hands and has been one of the most productive receivers in the league over the course of the last two seasons.
There have been no reports that Lloyd has any issues inside the locker room; it seems he has matured a great deal since his initial stint in San Francisco.
I work under the belief that players deserve a second chance to prove themselves. In this case, it would be Lloyd's third or fourth chance. With that said, everything has been pretty quiet on his front since leaving the Redskins in 2007.
There comes a time when a team has to make a bold move to take that next step. With almost every other receiving option off the board in the free-agent market, the 49ers options are quickly dwindling.
It comes down to taking a chance on Lloyd, giving up a first-round pick to acquire Mike Wallace or relying on an unproven draft pick to get the job done. While signing Lloyd would be a risk, he does offer San Francisco a pretty high reward.
After all, this is a player that accumulated nearly 1,500 yards with Kyle Orton throwing the ball to him.
Of course, this could be posturing on the part of Lloyd in order to gain leverage in contract negotiations with the New England Patriots. I guess we will find out sooner rather than later.