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NFL Trade Rumors: Should the Carolina Panthers Trade for Brandon Lloyd?

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NFL Trade Rumors: Should the Carolina Panthers Trade for Brandon Lloyd?
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Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported Brandon Lloyd has been put on the trading block and the Carolina Panthers are among three to four teams interested in him. Lloyd was a career underachiever until he broke out last season with the Denver Broncos to lead the entire NFL in receiving yards.

It was an impressive leap for the Broncos receiver, and he has turned in some nice games already this year, but should the Carolina Panthers make the move for him? 

That's a question that general manager Marty Hurney is probably kicking around with the coaching staff right now. If the Panthers were to get involved it would have to be for a late round pick, because there's no way that Hurney would give up anything of significant value for Lloyd.

Denver is in rebuilding mode and Tim Tebow has never connected with Lloyd the way that Kyle Orton has. It wouldn't be surprising if Lloyd was pushing for a move to another team at this point.

Let's take a look at the potential pluses and minuses of a Lloyd to Carolina deal.

Plus: Gives Cam Newton a legitimate No. 2 option

Newton has been tremendous this season, but outside of Steve Smith, the Panthers' wide receivers have struggled. Brandon LaFell has shown potential that he could one day be a second option, yet he hasn't played consistently enough this season.

Legedu Naanee has been an absolute disaster for the Panthers and the only reason he's still getting an opportunity to play is his familiarity with Ron Rivera. By bringing in Lloyd, it would drop Naanee down the depth chart and allow LaFell to progress at his own pace.

Should the Panthers trade for Brandon Lloyd?

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But most of all, the trade would take pressure off Newton and would give him a threat outside of Smith to go to.

Minus: Long-term impact

Lloyd makes just under $1.4 million this year and only has one year left on his deal. If the Panthers were to give up a draft pick for him it would have to mean that they would be willing to shell out a decently sized contract to lock him up.

For a player that has only succeeded in one environment, and has never put back-to-back good seasons together, it would be concerning to give him a long-term contract. 

The Panthers weren't afraid to spend money this past offseason, so it wouldn't be surprising to see them sign Lloyd to a long-term deal--that is if they even acquire him.

Plus: Solidify receiving corps

Smith is having a career year despite having a consistent threat to go with him. The addition of Lloyd would bolster the Panthers' receiving corps and take some pressure off of Smith. 

What the move would really do if it worked out is allow the Panthers to look elsewhere in the draft and free agency next year. As of now, Carolina would have to consider drafting a receiver in the first round. 

If Lloyd came in and played well it would take away that need for another receiver and Carolina could address the defense come draft time. It would be a gamble to lock up him long-term, but if the Panthers would be getting the Lloyd from a year ago it would be worth it.

Minus: Age

Assuming Carolina signed Lloyd to a contract extension age would definitely be a pitfall. Next season he will be 31 years old, which isn't exactly ancient but it's getting past a receivers prime years. 

One would assume it would take at least a three-year deal to bring back Lloyd over the long haul. That puts him at 34 in the last year of his deal.

With a couple of stud prospects in Alshon Jeffery and Justin Blackmon in this year's draft class it may better suit the Panthers to wait until the draft. Even if Carolina is unable to nab one of the elite receivers in the draft there are still some quality ones that will be available later. 

Michael Floyd and Jeff Fuller both have a chance to be big time players in the NFL if they can overcome their shortcomings. 

Conclusion

The Panthers have a young squad and aren't going to win very many games this season. By trading for Lloyd they would have to be sure that they could re-sign him at a reasonable rate. It would make no sense to break the bank on a player that has struggled most of his career.

Carolina has been close in every game this season and must avoid making a win now move that could hinder the future. The highest pick that should be given up for Lloyd is a fifth rounder and a long-term deal should be put on hold for awhile.

It would be wise of the Panthers to see what player they will be getting before dishing out the dough. By trading for Lloyd it would be a calculated risk that could pay off in a big way. In my opinion I think that the Panthers should seriously consider making a move, but only if it comes at a good price.

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