Niners trade Lloyd to Redskins for draft picks

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers traded
leading receiver Brandon Lloyd to Washington on Saturday for the
Redskins' third-round pick this year and their fourth-round
selection in 2007.

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

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.