Lloyd trade provides opportunities for young Broncos WRs

After trading Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd to the St. Louis Rams on Monday for a 2012 conditional draft pick, the Denver Broncos are preparing to embrace a new-look offense.

While the trade provides opportunities for young receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Matt Willis, it also opens the organization to increased scrutiny in the midst of its 1-4 start.

"We think it's a position of strength," Broncos coach John Fox said of his receiving corps. "We've got some guys coming back -- Demaryius Thomas, Eddie Royal -- and (we like) the emergence of Eric Decker."

Lloyd said the trade was a mutual effort. He added that he wanted to be a featured receiver in a more pass-oriented offense, and he believed 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' quarterback switch last week.

"This had nothing to do with Tim (Tebow)," Lloyd told KKFN-FM in Denver. "I'm like everybody else, I find it hard not to like the kid and I have a lot of respect for him and a lot of respect for what he wants to accomplish in his career.

"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. It puts me in a situation where maybe a team will want to look at me long-term or maybe I can fill a void for a season for St. Louis and get those guys back on track."

Now that Orton no longer is calling the plays, the Broncos are expected to go to even more of a ball-control offense under Tebow, who's a scrambler and a 49 percent career passer.

Broncos football chief John Elway said he appreciated Lloyd's hard work and wished him well, adding via Twitter: "I'm excited about our wide receiver group -- this is as healthy as we've been at that position since the start of the year. Our young WRs have really emerged and made some plays, and this is a great opportunity for them to continue to step up."

The remaining receivers learned of Lloyd's departure when he was absent from their morning meeting Monday.

"It's, 'The decision has been made, it's you guys left in the room, let's make the most of it, go out there and play hard,' " Decker said of management's message. "Nothing's changed. Guys aren't scared. They just know that more opportunities are here now, and we've got to make the most of them."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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