Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:20pm
The 49ers brought back Brandon Lloyd this offseason. They also acquired Stevie Johnson and drafted Bruce Ellington. And Quinton Patton has flashed this offseason. So who is in line to be the 49ers' No. 3 receiver, behind starters Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree? The position seemed earmarked for Johnson but he did not get much run in the third preseason game. The 49ers may use this game to get a better feel on their third receiver, even if Kaepernick is long gone from the game and Blaine Gabbert and Josh Johnson are the ones throwing the ball. In any event, coach Jim Harbaugh said he felt "very good" about Stevie Johnson being on the 49ers' 53-man roster.
At no point last season did the 49ers’ aerial attack look as strong as it has during this training camp. Actually, it’s stunning to see how much better this area is than it was last season. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is surely benefiting. A few examples: As a rookie, Quinton Patton was the No. 3 receiver last year. This year, he’s improved, but he might be the sixth and final receiver on the 53-man roster. Jonathan Baldwin was a frontline receiver for a spell in 2013. This year, he was cut 10 days into training camp. The additions of veterans Stevie Johnson, Brandon Lloyd and explosive fourth-round pick Bruce Ellington to go with holdover starters Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin make for a pretty special group. It has showed in camp.
In his last 18 games with Michael Crabtree in the lineup, Kaepernick has averaged 20.9 FP, which equate to #3 QB numbers. In 11 games without Crabtree, he averaged 16.1 FP. He averages 2.5 more pass attempts (i.e. the 49ers throw the ball more) and his YPA jumps from 7.4 to 8.4 with his top receiver in the lineup. The addition of Stevie Johnson should help as well. We like Kaepernick in the 8th to 10th round, depending on format.
Saturday, August 9, 2014, 10:00am
A corresponding roster move is unknown at this time.
Lewis’ addition makes sense in that Chuck Jacobs hyperextending his right knee late in Thursday night’s 23-3 exhibition loss to the Ravens.
The 49ers have practiced for a week without Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd because of what’s believed to be leg injuries.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 10:13am
Top 49ers WR Michael Crabtree’s return to full health – and he sure looks like he has, moving well in Saturday’s practice and making a one-handed catch in traffic – headlines a group with improved depth and talent.
Anquan Boldin remains tough and crafty at age 33. Stevie Johnson, who had three straight 1,000-yard seasons in Buffalo from 2010 to ’12, arrived in a trade. General manager Trent Baalke made a point to praise rookie Bruce Ellington (“a young guy that’s come in and showed an awful lot of promise”) second-year pro Quinton Patton (“a year older, a year better”), and even 33-year-old Brandon Lloyd (“playing like he’s 28 years old out there”). RB Frank Gore said it’s “by far” the best receiver group the 49ers have had in his 10 seasons.
The 49ers have a lot of big names at WR, but outside of Crabtree and Boldin, fantasy owners will have to see where Johnson fits in, and perhaps even Lloyd. Either way, QB Colin Kaepernick figures to benefit the most from this experienced group around him.
The 49ers tout the deepest receiving corps of Harbaugh's four-year tenure, and they have arguably the league's best offensive line.
The 49ers clearly realized he couldn't improve the passing attack without better targets.
"We're a lot deeper at receiver," starter Anquan Boldin said.
First, the 49ers acquired San Francisco native Stevie Johnson in a draft-day trade with Buffalo. They lured Brandon Lloyd out of a one-year hiatus (as they did with Randy Moss in 2012). And they drafted speedster Bruce Ellington in the fourth round out of South Carolina.
"It gives us an opportunity as an offense to do a lot more," Kaepernick said. "You have a lot of weapons that you can put in a lot of different places. ... They all have the capability of getting open and making plays."
In his last 18 games with Crabtree in the lineup, Kaepernick has averaged 20.9 FP, which equate to #3 QB numbers. In 11 games without Crabtree, he averaged 16.1 FP. He averages 2.5 more pass attempts (i.e. the 49ers throw the ball more) and his YPA jumps from 7.4 to 8.4 with his top receiver in the lineup. The potential Vernon Davis holdout is a concern, but with Johnson in the fold, the 49ers are deep at receiver.
Monday, June 30, 2014, 8:25pm
Odds look to favor Steve Johnson in the end, as Lloyd is coming off a year where he didn't even play. The 9ers still have Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin on the outside with Vernon Davis the TE, so the position winner will have to fight for targets. Just one of many upcoming camp battles to monitor...
49ers QB Colin Kaepernick signed a six-year contract extension and has continued to be a vocal leader throughout the offseason. That's even on a Super Bowl-contending club. In showing his moxie, Kaepernick has proved to his coaches that he can handle more on his plate. The fourth-year quarterback is "seeing things" differently, according to offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who has used the offseason practices to emphasize red zone plays.
Kaepernick has a bevy of wide receivers to utilize in minicamp, a group headlined by Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin and boosted with the additions of Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd. The 49ers have sprinkled in receivers, experienced and inexperienced, throughout the offseason. The camp session figures to be one last period for Kaepernick to mesh with his deep group of targets before training camp rolls around.
In his last 18 games with Michael Crabtree in the lineup, Kaepernick has averaged 20.9 FP, which equate to #3 QB numbers. In 11 games without Crabtree, he averaged 16.1 FP. He averages 2.5 more pass attempts (i.e. the 49ers throw the ball more) and his YPA jumps from 7.4 to 8.4 with his top receiver in the lineup. He's a solid QB1 with upside.
Lloyd was out of football in 2013 and doesn't have a reputation for being a good locker room guy. The 49ers are looking for receiver depth behind Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin.
Saturday, September 7, 2013, 10:12am
Plenty of teams with need at wide receiver, but I continue to hear free agent Brandon Lloyd does not intend to play football.
Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston had the following to say about the Patriot WRs:
Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and rookies Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce will make up the Patriot receivers this year. If things continue on their current course -- and that remains an "if" at this point because everyone still expects some rocky moments and adversity along the way -- the Patriots should be faster, bigger, smarter, deeper, tougher and more explosive than they were last year.
To get to that point, the Patriots went the tear-down-and-rebuild route, with each decision on last year's top receivers (Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch) having its own unique dynamic. What has resulted for the 2013 corps is a higher upside. But also still an element of the unknown.
It seems the tune has changed a bit from before camp and the whole Aaron Hernandez mess. The Pats have looked good in joint practices and the first preseason game against the Eagles, but the Eagles defense likely isn't going to be very good. Still, guys like Dobson and Thompkins are now on the fantasy radar map.
What makes Dobson intriguing is the ability to be a factor on the perimeter and after the catch. The Patriots relied on Brandon Lloyd as a perimeter target in 2012, but Lloyd's limited run-after-catch ability limited the offensive explosiveness. While Dobson is just a sufficient make-you-miss runner, he has the acceleration, straight-line speed and contact strength to explode up the field vertically.
On paper, it would appear that Dobson has landed in a role conducive to early playing time and production.
Dobson is entering a great situation opportunity-wise, but don't forget that the New England tight ends are going to eat up a ton of targets, as will Danny Amendola, whom the Patriots signed to fill Wes Welker's considerable shoes. Even if he starts, he's likely to be the fourth option in the passing game.
The Patriots released Lloyd on Saturday after only one season with the team, a club source told NFL.com's Albert Breer. The team later confirmed Lloyd's release.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that it's possible Lloyd will return at a lesser salary. Lloyd was due a $3 million roster bonus after a season in which Lloyd caught 74 passes for 911 yards and four touchdowns, but it was clear he wasn't going to get that bonus.
Lloyd didn't provide the vertical threat that the Patriots were hoping for, and there were reports that his erratic behavior was not a great fit in the locker room. His potential future in New England could depend on what else the Patriots get accomplished in free agency.
If the Patriots don't add anyone (Darrius Heyward-Bey?), Donald Jones would be a nice sleeper if he ends up starting. After a stellar 77-1448-11 season in Denver, Brandon Lloyd is now trying to join his fourth team in three years. He has played for six teams in his career.
Former Bills WR Donald Jones has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the New England Patriots, according to a person informed of the talks between the sides. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been finalized and signed.
Jones could replace Brandon Lloyd in the starting lineup if Lloyd doesn't agree to a pay cut. If Jones ends up starting, he could have fantasy WR3/WR4-type value in the Patriots' potent offense.
It's reportedly a two-year deal worth $12 million total, so a curious move by the Patriots to let him walk. Welker will take over for Brandon Stokley (45-544-5) in the slot, and will surely siphon some targets off of Eric Decker, Jacob Tamme and perhaps Demaryius Thomas, who has a downfield skill set that might protect his targets more than the other Bronco receivers. Still, Welker should be heavily targeted, and that will impact the entire offense. His value goes down a bit with the move. It's a boost for Peyton Manning, who gets a great weapon in the slot. In New England, Welker's departure is good news for Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, along with whomever the Patriots find to start at receiver next season. (Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman are “poor man’s Welkers” and Brandon Lloyd may get a chance to stick around.) As for Tom Brady, he can't be happy about losing his security blanket in the slot.
Thursday, February 28, 2013, 10:44am
Patriots WR Brandon Lloyd is widely assumed to be on his way out of town because the team is unlikely to pick up a $3 million option bonus it appears must be exercised by March 31. As of yesterday, agent Tom Condon hasn’t had any communication with the Patriots about Lloyd. And more damning is that, according to associates of Lloyd, he has had no communication with the man who strongly advocated bringing him to New England, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
What is most damning though is that the cost to retain Lloyd, at a time when every veteran Pats receiver besides Matthew Slater is slated to become a free agent, is minimal.
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