clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

David Elfin: Give Brandon the boot

Not that Brandon.

At the Washington Times blog Redskins 360, David Elfin calls for cutting our now #3 wide receiver:

The malcontent receiver has been as big a bust as now-departed safety Adam Archuleta was and on top of that, he threw his helmet during a game last year. Lloyd admitted that this offseason was the first one during which he ever really worked out, and the result has been that he has missed half of training camp with shin splints.

The Redskins have plenty of cap room. Even if they give tight end Chris Cooley a big contract, they have the cap room. Lloyd might be a gifted athlete, but he's not a standup guy in the locker room. Corey Bradford, Jason McAddley, Mike Espy or any of the other backup receivers can score zero touchdowns as well as Lloyd and for a heck of a lot less money and aggravation.

Cut Brandon Lloyd now.

My initial reaction was that David had jumped the gun on this though it deserves a fair shake.

What flustered me most about Brandon Lloyd last year wasn't the zero touchdowns, although that was the effect of overall disappointing production, nor was it even the illustrious thrown helmet, although that proved symptomatic of general malcontentedness. Rather it was this exchange documented by Jason Canfora back in January:

In the first half [of the New Orleans Saints game, which we won incidentally], Lloyd beat his man down the sideline and seemed to be wide open for a touchdown pass from Jason Campbell. But he could not locate the ball and it dropped to the turf.

According to a member of the organization who witnessed the exchange, Saunders approached Lloyd at halftime.

"Tough one out there. Those lights are tough," Saunders said.

Lloyd looked at him coldly.

"You're joking, right?" he said.

"No," said Saunders. "It looked like you lost it in the lights."

"What? That ball was 10 yards underthrown," Lloyd said. "Go talk to the quarterback."

So much is wrong here. Even if Lloyd's account is true, which I find doubtful, you don't throw your quarterback under the bus in just his fifth NFL start. Second, you don't issue edicts to your coach; if anyone should have discussed the play with the quarterback, it should've been Lloyd. Finally, to that point Lloyd had ~ 350 yards on the season and zero touchdowns. Take some responsibility.

Now that you're buttered up, I'll make the case for cutting Brandon Lloyd, though I disagree with it.

Much of what Elfin levels at Lloyd is true. He is a bust relative to his salary; he's paid #2 WR money yet is playing at the #3 WR position. He did throw his helmet during a game (though cutting him for that would be a fairly tardy penalty). And this roster is loaded to survive a Brandon Lloyd cut at WR. With the addition of Bradford to the roster, we could still make a 5 WR unit that is respectable without Lloyd, something like: Moss, Randle-El, Thrash, Bradford, Espy. How reader(s) feel about that lineup depends on whether they think Thrash is comparable to Lloyd. Football Outsiders says they aren't; Thrash was simply better in '06.

Moving to financials, per PC's Salary page updated July 28th, and I always butcher this shit, we've got Lloyd at ~2.4M against the cap for 2007 with that number escalating by 1.8M in 2008 on "Other Bonuses" and the base salary growing from ~600K to 3.5M by 2009. We're not paying that 2009 excepting substantial increase in production and value out of Brandon Lloyd. So, for me, the question is whether he's cut this year or next year.

If I'm reading it right, which I'm probably not, he had 10M guaranteed of which we've paid off just ~1.8M. Per Redskins Insider last December:

So, according to my contact guys, Lloyd's deal is structured just like Arch's. If they don't excercise his option in March, the base salaries become guaranteed and effectively equal the additional $5 million option bonus.

They could take a $9 million hit all at once - offset by whatever bonus the player would get elsewhere - and spread it over two years at around $1.5 in 2007 and $7.5 in 2008. No easy way around it.

PC says we're $6.612m under the cap as of July 28th, which doesn't include the Landry contract.

I say all that to cast partial doubt on Elfin's assertion that we could afford to cut him easily. I don't know where Chris Cooley and his agent are relative to the 'Skins, so I can't say with certainty that we can afford to cut Lloyd and sign Cooley. That depends on how much Cooley costs. Thus I vote to keep Lloyd at least one additional year (to chip away at 1.8M of that guaranteed money) due to the fact that I care more about signing Cooley than I do about ridding us of Brandon Lloyd.

Having reviewed the numbers, I don't think my initial reaction was warranted. David Elfin is on to something here, maybe, but I cannot endorse that action without additional numbers relating to Cooley. What I think is certain, at this point, is that Brandon Lloyd will not see the entirety of his contract with the Redskins, as it will proverbially be thrown out, with the escalating base salary representing the bathwater and Brandon Lloyd representing the baby, perhaps appropriately.

Nothing would make me happier than for Lloyd to win the #2 WR job next year, get ~700-800 yards and 6-8 touchdowns, and earn his way into that contract. I would love to be wrong about Brandon.

AOL Fanhouse, Some People Think the Redskins Should Cut Brandon Lloyd