NFL Free Agent Rumors: 49ers Must Sign Brandon Lloyd to Pair with Randy Moss

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 23: Brandon Lloyd #83 of the St. Louis Rams runs against the Dallas Cowboys runs down the field against  at Cowboys Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Signing Randy Moss was a terrific move by the San Francisco 49ers. But the team must make sure to back him up with another wide receiver, like Brandon Lloyd, whose production will be more certain in case the Moss experiment fails.

Lloyd is expected to visit the 49ers, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. After speculation he was bound to sign with the New England Patriots, it appears the former 49er is considering a return to the Bay Area.

"Raiders free agent WR Chaz Schilens is visiting 49ers, and Rams free agent WR Brandon Lloyd also is expected to visit San Francisco." — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2012

Lloyd played the first three seasons of his career in San Francisco, racking up 13 touchdowns before heading to the Washington Redskins. A reunion would provide both sides with exactly what they need heading into the 2012 season.

It took a lot longer than most 49ers fans were hoping, but Alex Smith finally had a breakout year to lead San Francisco back to the playoffs. His weapons were still below par, though, so signing some new faces to the mix was one of the team's biggest keys.

Moss was a great start. It's a low-risk move that has a good chance of paying huge dividends. He never seemed content in retirement and will be motivated to prove he can still produce in the NFL.

Lloyd and Moss would give Smith two players with the ability to stretch the field. The 49ers utilized mostly short, quick routes last season. By adding a couple big-play threats, that would at least force defenses to respect the deep ball.

Add in Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker and Kyle Williams and Smith won't have any excuses if he fails to back up his first big year. The 49ers' offense would actually be shaping up to be a potent unit. Certainly better than last season.

As for Lloyd, individually, it would be his best chance to shine. With the Patriots, there's a good chance he would get lost in the shuffle. Tom Brady likes to spread the ball around, and already has his fair share of targets. Between Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker, there aren't exactly a lot of passes left for other receivers. Lloyd would clearly be fourth in the pecking order. He probably thinks of himself more highly than that.

He would be No. 2 at worst in San Francisco, but more likely would function as a 1A with Moss. If the former superstar didn't work out, the top spot would be all Lloyd's.

There have been plenty of questions about the 49ers' ability to be NFC contenders again next season. Lloyd would ensure they will be.