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Bears sign WR Lloyd to one-year deal

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears and inadvertently stirred a quarterback controversy Friday.

"Rex Grossman is the starter," Lloyd said during a conference call.

Well, not exactly.

The Bears have said that Grossman and Kyle Orton will compete for the starting job next season, and Lloyd apparently jumped to a premature conclusion. When asked who told him Grossman would start, the receiver backpedalled.

"That's what I'm assuming," said Lloyd, who was released after two disappointing seasons in Washington. "That's what ..."

His voice trailed off. Then, he said, "Orton and Grossman signed one-year deals. I figured Grossman was the starter. Open competition is what I'm being told right now."

Grossman, who got benched early last season and returned for five games before injuring his left knee, re-signed with the Bears for one year and $3 million with $1.5 million possible in incentives. Orton got a one-year contract extension that runs through the 2009 season.

And just to be clear, offensive coordinator Ron Turner said there will be a competition.

Speaking right after Lloyd, Turner started by saying, "Brandon said that he assumed it would be Rex. I just wanted to clarify that before we got going. You guys know the situation. It's an open competition. Both guys have been told that, and when I talked to Brandon about the quarterback situation, I talked about both guys - about Rex Grossman and Kyle. We've got two guys who can get the ball to all of our receivers."

While the quarterback competition unfolds, the Bears will also sort out the rotation at wide receiver.

Bernard Berrian signed a six-year, $42 million contract with Minnesota after catching a career-high 71 passes for 951 yards and five touchdowns for Chicago, and the team released veteran Muhsin Muhammad. That leaves Lloyd and the recently signed Marty Booker competing with holdovers Mark Bradley, Devin Hester and, possibly, restricted free agent Rashied Davis.

Lloyd played for Turner at Illinois and said that was a big factor in his decision to sign with the Bears.

A fourth-round draft pick by San Francisco in 2003, he has 130 receptions for 1,889 yards and 13 touchdowns. Lloyd's colorful personality rubbed some 49ers veterans the wrong way, and the team dealt him to Washington before the 2006 season. The Redskins signed him to a long-term contract that included $10 million in guaranteed money, but he fell out of favor because of his work ethic and poor production.

Lloyd had just two catches for 14 yards last season, when he broke his collarbone in November, and he caught just 25 passes with no touchdowns in two years with Washington.

"The best thing I can do for myself is just come in and work," Lloyd said. "That's not anything I haven't done. I'm not going to sit here and say that it's all my fault, and I'm not going to say that it's all somebody else's fault. The circumstances just weren't right, and I'm just going to continue to try to find my fit, find my path in this league, because I feel I have the talent to play."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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