Raiders desperately seeking QB

Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell is tackled by Browns defenders Chris Gocong (bottom) and Scott...

Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell is tackled by Browns defenders Chris Gocong (bottom) and Scott Fujita at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., Oct. 16, 2011. (EZRA SHAW/Getty Images/AFP)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:06 PM ET

TORONTO - Is Brandon Lloyd just the beginning of bigger things to come?

Or will the mid-season NFL trade deadline come and go with its usual whimper?

Lloyd was snagged by the St. Louis Rams Monday for the bargain-basement price of a sixth-round pick that could become a fifth-round pick if Lloyd catches 30 passes this year.

That’s quite a drop from a year ago when Lloyd led all NFL receivers with 1,448 yards and had 11 touchdowns to go with that league-leading total for the Denver Broncos.

At the age of 30, Lloyd still has plenty of gas left in the tank and while he did miss one game with an injury this year he’s been healthy for the most part.

The Rams finally get a legitimate threat at wideout in Lloyd who immediately jumps to the top of their depth chart ahead of such pretenders as Brandon Gibson and Mike Sims-Walker who was cut Monday to make room for Lloyd on the roster. And at $1.4-million pro-rated for the remainder of the season he’s a great buy.

Whether there will be much more action before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline remains to be seen but one team that is going to have to bolster its quarterback depth either through trade or free agency is the Oakland Raiders.

With Jason Campbell’s season over thanks to a broken collarbone, the Raiders have Kyle Boller and an untested and extremely raw Terrelle Pryor.

Finally looking like a playoff team, the Raiders will not want to put their fate in either of those hands for the remainder of the season.

Options include talking Mike Brown in Cincinnati into trading California native Carson Palmer. Apparently the Raiders have begun the process of contacting Cincy but Brown has been adamant that he would not trade Palmer out of principle. He believes Palmer quit on the Bengals.

Earlier Monday there was talk the Raiders would pursue David Garrard but ESPN later reported that Garrard was to undergo surgery this week to repair a herniated disc in his back.

Kyle Orton, who lost the starting job in Denver to Tim Tebow could be had but his salary of $5.1-million, the bulk of which the Raiders would have to pay if they dealt for him, would seem to be a rather big stumbling block.

Big name trades at this point in the season rarely happen but you can never say never. It was just about a year ago that the Patriots unloaded Randy Moss on unsuspecting Minnesota for a third-round pick.

PRESSURE IS ON JOE

Joe Vitt’s level of responsibility just went from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye.

Vitt was an assistant and is the linebackers coach for the New Orleans Saints. Now he will add many of the head coaching duties to his to-do list with news that Sean Payton will not be able to put any weight on his surgically repaired leg for at least eight weeks.

The plan right now is to have Payton in the booth calling plays, but it will be Vitt on the sidelines in the role of acting head coach.

Payton tore the meniscus and fractured a bone in his left leg when tight end Jimmy Graham was tackled into Payton on the sidelines in Sunday’s loss in Tampa Bay.

He had surgery Monday and is expected to be back at work by Thursday at the latest but obviously unable to provide the kind of leadership and inspiration he did during games from his new perch in the coaches box above the field.

THIRD AND SHORT

ESPN has locked up Jon Gruden to provide his unique analysis for the next five years on Monday Night Football. Gruden, a former head coach in Tampa and Oakland, has teamed nicely with Ron Jaworski providing colour for the Monday night games. His new five-year deal begins next September ... Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Rams came news Monday that quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a high ankle sprain in the loss to Green Bay. No word on how long he could be out, but head coach Steve Spagnuolo said backup A.J Feeley would get a lot of reps in practice this week ... Devin Hester left Sunday night’s game with a chest injury but only after another long kick return for a touchdown and another receiving touchdown. According to head coach Lovie Smith the injury is not serious and will not keep him out of Sunday’s game in Tampa ... Lost in all the angst over what will happen with Washington’s quarterback situation in the aftermath of a four-interception afternoon for Rex Grossman was the loss of starting left guard Kory Lichtensteiger for the remainder of the year. Lichtensteiger tore both his ACL and MCL in Sunday’s game. A loss like his will likely impact the Redskins running game which was the true strength of its offence ... Benched for Sunday night’s game, Bears safety Chris Harris has received permission to begin seeking a trade ... Jahvid Best never did seem to find the right gear in Sunday’s loss to San Francisco. In the fourth quarter his gears got scrambled as Best suffered his second concussion of the season. Good bet that Best will not be in the backfield Sunday when Detroit hosts Atlanta ... An MRI confirmed Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis is dealing with an injured hamstring.

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos