The Broncos traded Pro Bowl wideout Brandon Lloyd, the league’s leading receiver last year, to the Rams yesterday for a conditional 2012 draft pick.
Lloyd said the trade was a mutual effort. He said he wanted to be a featured receiver in a more pass-oriented offense and thought his departure was best not just for his own career but for those of the receivers he left behind.
And Lloyd stressed his desire to leave Denver was unrelated to the Broncos naming Tim Tebow the starting quarterback over Kyle Orton last week. The Broncos are expected to go to even more of a ball-control offense under Tebow, a scrambler.
“I think this move creates the space for Denver to really find out what they want to do with the organization and the same thing for me,’’ Lloyd said.
In St. Louis, Lloyd will be reunited with former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, the coordinator of a Rams offense that has stumbled with so many of Sam Bradford’s receivers banged up.
The Rams sent a sixth-round pick to Denver that could turn into a fifth-rounder if Lloyd catches 30 passes for St. Louis. Lloyd said he would play Sunday against Dallas.
Lloyd may not be catching passes from Bradford right away. Bradford has a high left ankle sprain and is in a walking boot. Backup A.J. Feeley likely will take the majority of the snaps with the first team tomorrow.
The Rams also released wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker, a day after he was a surprise inactive. Lloyd took Sims-Walker’s roster spot.
No fines for coach flap
Lions coach Jim Schwartz and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh talked with the league yesterday about their postgame dustup Sunday, when Schwartz took exception to an exuberant handshake and a firm slap on the back by Harbaugh.
The NFL did not fine either coach. “Fortunately, there was no fighting and thus no basis for a fine,’’ a league spokesman said.
“I think that it is unfortunate that the events after the game have overshadowed the fact that it was probably one of the better games played [Sunday],’’ Schwartz said of the 49ers’ 25-19 win.
Harbaugh doesn’t plan to say sorry.
“Personally I can get better at the postgame handshake and we’ll attempt to do that,’’ Harbaugh said. “I don’t think that there’s any reason for an apology. We spoke about it after the game, and at some point we will talk in private. Apologies always seem to me like excuses.’’
Pondering QB changes
The Vikings are considering a quarterback change. Rookie Christian Ponder relieved Donovan McNabb in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s 39-10 loss at Chicago, and coach Leslie Frazier said he’ll decide by tomorrow who starts against Green Bay. Frazier said he doesn’t want to flip-flop from week to week, so if Ponder gets the nod, the job probably will be his for good . . . Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he had yet to make up his mind on whether John Beck will replace Rex Grossman as the starting quarterback and had solicited opinions from the coaching staff. An announcement will come when practice resumes tomorrow. The QB who starts will be without two key blockers: left guard Kory Lichtensteiger is out for the season with torn knee ligaments, and left tackle Trent Williams will miss at least two weeks with a sprained ankle . . . Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell had surgery on his broken collarbone but said he could be back before the end of the season, estimating a six-week recovery period. Backup Kyle Boller struggled Sunday in his first action of the season. The only other quarterback on Oakland’s roster is rookie Terrelle Pryor. “If you’re a quarterback out there and you want to come play for the Raiders, give us a call,’’ said coach Hue Jackson. There were reports Oakland had interest in former Jaguars QB David Garrard, but Garrard’s agent said the free agent will have surgery this week to repair a herniated disk in his lower back and not play in 2011.
Gates back with Chargers
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates returned to practice for the first time in several weeks, though in a limited role. He has missed the last three games following a flareup in his lengthy bout with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Gates is hoping to play Sunday at the Jets . . . Browns running back Peyton Hillis has an injured left hamstring, and coach Pat Shurmur does not know how long he will be sidelined. Linebacker Scott Fujita is also out for an undetermined period after sustaining a concussion . . . The Lions said running back Jahvid Best began experiencing “concussion-like symptoms’’ after Sunday’s game against San Francisco. Best also missed time during this preseason because of a concussion . . . Broncos defensive lineman Ryan McBean was arrested on suspicion of stalking. McBean turned himself in Friday and is free after posting a $50,000 bond. If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison . . . Bears strong safety Chris Harris has requested a trade after being benched Sunday night against Minnesota. Harris’s agent said the Bears have granted him permission to seek a deal. The NFL’s trading deadline is today . . . Jon Gruden agreed to a new contract with ESPN that keeps him out of coaching for the next five years. Gruden has been a popular name in coaching rumors since joining “Monday Night Football’’ in 2009.