With the trade deadline less than a week around there have been some rumors flying around about players being traded to this team and that. One trade that has seemed to catch some legs around NFL circles is the Carolina Panthers trading for Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. However, GM Marty Hurney and Panthers coach Ron Rivera have said they at this point are not exploring any trade options.
At first glimpse this may seem like an easy deal that Marty Hurney should pull the trigger on for a draft pick or two. Brandon Lloyd is coming off of a career season last year, in which he led the league in touchdowns and yardage, and is a proven player in the league. As far as the Panthers are concerned outside of Steve Smith, no other receiver has really stepped up. Legedu Naanee can’t catch a cold much less really get open and Brandon LaFell hasn’t really gotten a chance to prove himself.
So the deal seems to fit but in my opinion the Panthers shouldn’t waste their time and draft picks on Lloyd and here is why.
First, sure Lloyd is coming off of a career season but that was really his first ever huge season in his nine year career. Last season he caught 77 passes, good for 1448 yards and 11 touchdowns. In his eight other seasons he hasn’t even eclipsed the 50 catch mark, much less sniffed double digit touchdown catches.
As far as I am concern last year was a bigger one hit wonder than Semisonic’s song Closing Time.
Secondly, the 30 year old wide receiver has just a year left on his deal. Sure he is making only $1.38 million this season, which is a steal compared to some receiver contracts. But he will be looking for a huge deal this offseason. He had hoped we would get one from the Broncos this year and chose not to holdout but I can guarantee he is going to follow the money come the start of free agency and the Panthers won’t pony up the cash for a over 30 receiver not named Steve Smith.
Finally, the Panthers aren’t going anywhere this season. News flash folks this team is 1-4 and less than 5% of teams that start out 1-4 make the playoffs. Couple that with the fact the the New Orleans Saints have a commanding lead in the division and that the Panthers play one of the leagues toughest schedules means no playoffs this year for the Cats. I know rookie quarterback Cam Newton would love the extra weapon on offense but why not keep the picks and build through the draft. The Panthers already traded their third round pick to the Chicago Bears for Greg Olsen, so let’s try and keep a few.
If head coach Ron Rivera is looking to shake things up in the receiver corps, why not instead of trading the future for a one year fix, give the young guys a shot. Naanee is obviously not the answer. Let LaFell start opposite of Smith and then give a combination of Armanti Edwards, Keloha Pilares and Seyi Ajirotutu a shot in the slot. Maybe they can turn into something but we won’t know unless they get a shot.
One thing I would be willing to bet on is just like the song, Lloyd will be gathering up his jackets and moving to the exit because it looks like his time with the Broncos has come to and end but as our good friends Semisonic said, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
Lets just hope that isn’t with the Panthers.