Later, Brandon Lloyd Cut as the Washington Redskins End a Costly Mistake

Rich TandlerSenior Analyst IFebruary 26, 2008

The Washington Redskins handed Brandon Lloyd his walking papers today two years after giving up a third- and a fourth-round draft pick for the right to sign him to a contract that had $10 million in guaranteed money.

The trade and signing turned out to be a very costly mistake. Lloyd caught 25 passes for the Redskins. That’s $400,000 per catch.

In terms of the draft pick value chart, each catch cost the Redskins the equivalent of a late seventh-round pick (a third and a fourth equal about 190 points, divided by the 25 catches is 7.6, the point value of the 19th pick of the fourth round).

You cannot do a similar calculation to figure out how much each touchdown catch cost the Redskins as it is mathematically impossible to divide by zero.

As discussed in this space last week, the Redskins can choose to pay for their mistake in full now or put part of it on credit and spread some of the pain into 2009. If they choose to make him a straight release, they will take a net hit of $2.9 million this season. If they designated him as a post-June 1 cut they will eat a $5.4 million dead cap number next year while gaining $2.4 million of space on the first of June. There was no immediate word as to which poison the Redskins picked.

Lloyd had a part-time career as a rapper, something that he talked about extensively during his first months with a team. He had a publicist who was fond of sending e-mails to the Redskins’ beat reporters talking about Lloyd’s recording career and of his accomplishments on the field. Those communications in the latter category were few, far between, and very brief.

The stream of communication did not endear him to the beat writers, who turned on him early. Even without the publicist’s hype there would have been good reason for criticism. Lloyd wasn’t exactly a locker room cancer. Being a cancer actually requires some effort, some work on the part of the perpetrator. Brand Lloyd just kind of cruised along at about three-quarters speed both on and off the field.

And it was not going full speed that ultimately cost him his job with the Redskins. Joe Gibbs and Al Saunders seemed to be willing to give him a mulligan for a spotty 2006 season and he was scheduled to have a major role in the offense in ’07. On the first play of the fourth quarter of the season opener against Miami, Jason Campbell threw a deep pass intended for Lloyd in the end zone. The receiver made a half hearted effort at the ball and it was picked off by Miami seven yards deep in the end zone. Lloyd was even less interested in making the tackle than he was in making the catch and the defender scampered 29 yards to the 22.

That was it. Lloyd was buried on the depth chart the rest of the year before breaking his collarbone around midseason and winding up on injured reserve.