Niners trade Lloyd to Redskins for draft picks
San Francisco 49ers
Lloyd was a restricted free agent for the 49ers, who drafted him in the third round three years ago. He was San Francisco's top receiver last season, catching 48 passes for 733 yards and five touchdowns for the NFL's worst offense, but alienated teammates and clashed with Mike Nolan's new coaching staff.
Though Nolan repeatedly spoke with Lloyd about the receiver's attitude during a tumultuous season, the coach denied any personality conflicts, even saying he would miss Lloyd. Nolan claimed the trade wasn't requested by Lloyd, who improved markedly during his one season under receivers coach Jerry Sullivan.
"He's got some of the best hands you'll see, and he does make plays," Nolan said. "We did this to make our team better. ... If he didn't [want to return to San Francisco], he never voiced it to me."
San Francisco signed Lloyd to an offer sheet earlier in the month, but Washington seems more enamored with his highlight-reel skills than the 49ers were. Lloyd was scheduled to visit the Redskins' training complex Sunday.
A call to Lloyd's cell phone wasn't immediately returned.
Though Lloyd made countless eye-popping catches during his three years with San Francisco, he also made a series of memorable drops and mistakes while feuding with the media at times. Lloyd also drew criticism from hard-nosed teammates such as Fred Beasley and Kevan Barlow for his flashy jewelry and his aspirations to become a rapper in his spare time.
Lloyd caught 105 passes for 1,510 yards and 13 touchdowns in his three seasons with San Francisco. He also caught rookie quarterback Alex Smith's only touchdown pass of the year in the 49ers' season-ending win over Houston.
Lloyd should be a capable complement to Santana Moss, the Redskins' leading receiver last season with 84 catches for 1,483 yards and nine touchdowns. Washington's offense struggled last season, with only Moss and H-back Chris Cooley catching more than 30 passes.
The 49ers already released receiver Johnnie Morton earlier in the offseason, leaving oft-injured Arnaz Battle as their most experienced receiver. They're expected to go after free agents, including Pittsburgh's Antwaan Randle-El, and seek more receiving help in next month's draft.
The 49ers also could lose another free agent to the Redskins: Defensive end-turned-linebacker Andre Carter was scheduled to visit Washington on Saturday.
"It's a strange thing to be [ranked] 32nd on both sides of the ball and still have guys after your players," Nolan said.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press