Broncos Traded Brandon Lloyd As A 'Pre-emptive Strike' To Avoid Future Issues

The Denver Broncos will have a fifth-round draft pick in 2012 as a result of Brandon Lloyd's performance with the St. Louis Rams after he was traded right before the deadline in October. The team traded its top wide receiver even though the team had struggles at the position, mostly due to injury. But with those injured players returning to the field and a move to run-first offense, the team decided to trade Lloyd as a "pre-emptive strike" to avoid any problems the receiver might have had with that move, according to Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post.

Lloyd was saying all the right things about being for the team before the trade, though Lloyd certainly was not Tebow's biggest fan in the world. Would Lloyd have become frustrated, we'll never know; however, Tebow would have likely kept looking to his No. 1 wide receiver, Lloyd, potentially hindering the rapport developed with Demaryius Thomas -- one that peaked with the game-winning touchdown pass the two connected on to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs.

The Broncos will have Thomas and Eric Decker back for the 2012 season while Eddie Royal enters free agency. Matthew Willis is a restricted free agent. The Broncos will need to pick up a wide receiver or two through free agency and the draft, but don't expect Lloyd to be a target. He's likely to head to New England, where Josh McDaniels is the offensive coordinator.

For more updates and news on Denver Sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. Check out the Denver Broncos blog Mile High Report for more Broncos analysis and coverage.

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