Brandon Matthew Lloyd (born July 5, 1981) is an American football wide receiver for the New England Patriots of theNational Football League. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He played college football at Illinois. Lloyd has also played for the Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, and St. Louis Rams.
Lloyd attended Blue Springs High School in Blue Springs, Missouri and was a letterman in football, basketball, andtrack. In track he still holds a school record 7’2 high jump. In football, he was a three-time All-Suburban Big Eight honoree, and as a senior, he was also awarded All-Region by the Mo-Kan Magazine and was named an All-State honoree by the St.Louis Post-Dispatch.
Lloyd attended the University of Illinois beginning in 1999. After a promising freshman season, Lloyd missed all of the 2000 season with a broken femur. He returned healthy and had outstanding seasons in both 2001 and 2002. He was a consensus First-Team All-Big Ten performer after his sophomore season in 2001, helping lead the Fighting Illini to a 10-2 record and a BCS berth in the Sugar Bowl. After his junior season in 2002, Lloyd declared his eligibility for the NFL Draft. He finished his college career having the second-most receiving yards (2,583) and touchdown catches (21) in Illinois history, and ranking third in all-time receptions (160).
San Francisco 49ers
Lloyd was drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. In his first game he blocked a punt against the Chicago Bears on September 7, 2003. On November 2, 2003, he caught his first touchdown pass against the St. Louis Rams. He finished the season with 14 receptions for 212 yards and two touchdowns. In 2004, Lloyd started and appeared in 13 games and finished the season with 43 catches for 565 yards and six touchdowns. During the 2005 season Lloyd started 16 games and posted NFL career-highs and team-highs in receptions (48) and receiving yards (733) and had five touchdown catches. In Week 3 vs. the Dallas Cowboys, he recorded four catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns, including a 89-yard touchdown catch.
On Saturday March 11, 2006, the San Francisco 49ers traded Lloyd to Washington Redskins in exchange for a third-round draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. His first season is widely considered a failure, as he caught 23 passes for no touchdowns. According to Howard Bryant of the Washington Post, citing NFL.com, “Lloyd suffered through the worst season for a starting receiver in the Super Bowl era… No starting No. 2 wide receiver in the NFL started more games (12) while producing less (23 catches, 365 yards).”
Lloyd never made it out of Joe Gibbs‘ doghouse, due to a questionable attitude and alleged poor work ethic. On Sunday, November 4, 2007, Lloyd was listed among Redskins inactives as the team traveled to play against the New York Jets. Citing the reason behind the move, Gibbs said that Lloyd had been told to remain behind in Washington as disciplinary action for missing important team meetings. Lloyd would spend the latter part of the 2007 season on injured reserve after having snapped his collar bone while making a diving touchdown catch during team practice.
On February 26, 2008, the Redskins released Lloyd, who caught only two passes for 14 yards for the 2007 season.
On March 7, 2008, Lloyd signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears after the release of Muhsin Muhammad and the loss of Bernard Berrian to free agency. The move reunited him with Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner, who was Lloyd’s head coach at Illinois. Lloyd had a successful start to his career in Chicago, establishing himself as a favorite target of quarterback Kyle Orton, with 15 catches in his first four games. An injury forced him to miss several weeks, and he fell out of favor with the coaching staff as a result. He returned to the field in week 11, though did not approach his early-season productivity until the Bears’ final game of the season, where he caught four passes from Orton for 34 yards.
Lloyd’s contract with the Chicago Bears expired after the end of the 2008 season. In early April, Bears quarterback Kyle Ortonwas traded to the Denver Broncos in a deal involving Jay Cutler. As the offseason progressed, the Bears did not make any efforts to resign Lloyd. Being one of Kyle Orton’s favorite targets during the 2008 campaign, Brandon Lloyd was once again reunited with Orton when he signed with the Denver Broncos on June 15, 2009. Lloyd re-signed with the Broncos on March 15, 2010.
During the Broncos’ 24-20 loss to the Jets on 17 October, Lloyd was subjected to a helmet-to-helmet tackle/hit by New York safety Jim Leonhard, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. This hit, along with several other helmet-to-helmet hits during NFL games that weekend, led the league to announce such future ‘devastating hits’ or ‘head shots’ will be met with possible suspensions even for first-time offenders, a significant change in league policy, especially during an on-going season.
St. Louis Rams
On October 17, 2011, Lloyd was traded to the St. Louis Rams, where he caught 51 passes. The Rams gave up a conditional sixth-round pick that was upgraded to a fifth-round pick because Lloyd had over 30 receptions.
New England Patriots
In addition to his football career, Lloyd has recorded music and attempted to launch a career as a rapper. In 2008 his single “She All Mine” made the Billboard R&B chart, and his song “Heavy” was featured on the Spike TV show Blue Mountain State. Lloyd has received criticism for trying to balance careers in football and rap, but he says that making music is important to expressing who he really is. Quoted in a 2011 article, Lloyd said, “I have the guts to stand out and do something I’m passionate about, go against the grain and go against the conventional wisdom that the athlete-rap thing is unsuccessful. Yet I’m going to do it. People will say: ‘Oh, you’re doing hip-hop music? Who does he think he is, a rapper? He’s trying to be someone he’s not.’ When in reality, I’d be someone I’m not by not expressing myself in music.”