Free agent wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is a free agent no more, having announced his retirement from the NFL Thursday afternoon following 11 seasons in the league.
The 34-year-old broke the news of his impending retirement through a press release, which read: “I am so thankful for the years I spent in the NFL. I do not have one regret, and I am blessed to leave the game in such a healthy and happy place. I will do all I can to positively represent the league and its players for the rest of my life.”
Lloyd last played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, garnering 14 receptions for 294 yards and a touchdown in 14 appearances with the team. The career of the St. Louis native also began in the Bay Area, as the 49ers selected Lloyd in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
A product of the University of Illinois, Lloyd finished his career with 399 catches for 5,989 yards and 36 touchdowns. He led the NFL in receiving in 2010 while with the Denver Broncos, amounting 1,448 yards on 77 receptions, earning himself a nod to the Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in the process.
As a result of the breakout season, Lloyd was voted 58th in NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2011, a ranking voted on by his counterparts on the field.
Prior to his tenure in the Mile High City, Lloyd spent three seasons with San Francisco from 2003-05, where he accounted for 105 receptions for 1,510 yards and 15 touchdowns over 45 games. He was then traded to the Washington Redskins in March 2006, a transaction which proved to be futile for both sides of the equation.
Lloyd recorded just 23 catches for 365 yards in 12 appearances in 2006 before earning himself a spot in the doghouse of head coach Joe Gibbs in 2007 as a result of misconduct and a lack of work ethic, a season in which he captured just 21 receptions for 315 yards.
After being cut by Washington following the season, Lloyd latched on to the Chicago Bears. Although an injury caused him to miss an extensive period of time, an impressive performance in the first four games of the season motivated the Broncos to take a chance on him in the following offseason, a risk which paid exceptional dividends.
Despite underwhelming production in 2009, Lloyd enjoyed an astounding season in 2010, setting career-highs in catches, targets (153), yardage, touchdowns (11), and yards per reception (18.8). All but five of his receptions went for first downs as he cemented himself as a force to be reckoned with for opposing secondaries.
Lloyd proceeded to split time between the Broncos and his hometown St. Louis Rams in 2011, recording 70 receptions for 966 yards and five touchdowns before signing with the New England Patriots in 2012, where he piled up 74 catches for 911 yards and four touchdowns on the receiving end of legendary quarterback Tom Brady.
Although he did not partake in the 2013 NFL season, Lloyd was acquired by San Francisco in April 2014, proving to be a reliable target for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick throughout the ensuing season.