Denver Broncos: Dispelling 5 Myths After Trading Brandon Lloyd
As expected, the Denver Broncos moved Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd on Monday by trading him to the St. Louis Rams. Perhaps what was unexpected, or at least under much speculation, was what they would receive in return for Lloyd, which was ultimately a sixth round conditional draft pick.
Almost immediately after the details of the trade were released, Broncos fans reacted negatively across the Twitterverse and other social media outlets. It seemed that just after Bronco Nation was finally appeased by the promotion of quarterback Tim Tebow, before even one start from their incumbent hero, they were again upset with the front office.
Still, Coach John Fox maintains that the Broncos made the move in the best interests of the team going forward, and in that he is correct. The following slides dispel five of the top initial knee-jerk reactions (i.e., myths) purported by many Broncos fans and other media sources immediately following the trade.
The Broncos Are Having a Fire Sale
Perhaps it was because other players had also been mentioned in trade rumors, perhaps it was because the trade came so close on the heels of the change at quarterback, but almost immediately it was speculated that the Broncos were having a "fire sale". However, this is simply not the case.
Sure, the player they dealt away was a Pro Bowler, but they traded away one player. One. They didn't gut the entire offense or thin out their defense. They didn't dump all of their star players.
They moved a player who had requested a trade, and who would probably be seeking more money than they would care to pay him at the end of the season. So they picked up a draft pick for his services instead. Hardly a fire sale.
The Broncos Are Giving Up on the Season
All across Twitter and even in the professional media, this sentiment rang out loud and clear: The Broncos are giving up on the Season.
Why? Because they traded Brandon Lloyd, who had requested a trade? Sure, Lloyd was a Pro Bowler, and certainly their best receiver – last season. But he hasn't nearly lived up to those expectations thus far, and a glance at his 9 year career statistics (he's no spring chicken, either), would suggest that he probably won't anytime soon.
Just because the Broncos are down one WR hardly suggests they are giving up on the season.
The Broncos Have No Weapons Without Lloyd
Without Brandon Lloyd, who will the Broncos throw to?
Eric Decker, for one. Decker has emerged as a breakout wide receiver with a nose for the end zone, who has already scored 5 TDs on the season. Coupled with the fact that both Eddie Royal and number one draft pick Demaryius Thomas (who has yet to play this season) are returning from injury and both plan to play this Sunday, wide receiver is – as Coach Fox states – a position of strength.
Additionally, the Broncos will also return athletic tight end Julius Thomas to the field on Sunday, and his presence should be a welcomed addition for Tebow and the offense. And Let's not forget the backs, both Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee are very capable of catching the ball out of the backfield.
Even without Lloyd, Tebow will have plenty of targets.
The Broncos Are Trying to Sabotage Tim Tebow
Many people, both fans and journalists, are suggesting that the Broncos are actively setting Tim Tebow up to fail. Seriously?
This is still professional football, right? You still play to win the game, right?
Many didn't lend much credence to the notion that Brandon Lloyd intentionally dropped a 2-point conversion that would have tied the game against the Chargers over speculation that he "doesn't like Tebow" citing the fact that Brandon Lloyd is a professional.
In the same vein, the Denver Broncos are a professional football organization. If one thing is sure about both John Elway and John Fox, it's that they hate to lose. The move to Tebow was made, not out of bowing to the whimsical requests of the fan base, but rather after the continued inability of Kyle Orton to win ball games. He wasn't winning. Hence, the change to Tebow – a proven winner.
No one is making moves in the hopes that Tebow loses. The decision was made to go with him in the effort to actually win.
The Broncos Didn't Get Fair Value
A lot of people are suggesting that the Broncos gave Brandon Lloyd away. Sure, no one could have known the Bengals were about to fleece the Raiders into giving up a 1st and 2nd round pick for the virtually retired but still rostered quarterback Carson Palmer, but even that doesn't change Lloyd's value.
Ultimately, the Broncos probably got pretty fair value (unlike the Raiders). Also, unlike Cincinnati, the Broncos didn't have much leverage, even as multiple teams showed lots of interest in Lloyd. All of those teams must have known that the deal was essentially for an aging receiver with one exceptional year out of ten, who at best can be described as inconsistent, and was disgruntled in his current situation. Either the Broncos could have rode out his contract, and watched him walk for nothing, or get at least some value for him now.
It may not have been the second or third round pick that loyal orange kool-aid drinkers were hoping for, but the Broncos didn't give Lloyd up for nothing. Besides, if he catches 30 balls, the pick becomes a fifth rounder - which really is fair market value.
Just because the Broncos have dealt away Lloyd doesn't mean that they're giving up on the season, and it certainly doesn't mean they're trying to undercut their own quarterback. It simply means they are trying to maximize value and continue to build this team into a future contender.