SANTA CLARA -- To help launch their 2012 season's Super Bowl run, the 49ers lured a veteran wide receiver out of a one-year hiatus. Can Brandon Lloyd be this year's version of Randy Moss, with all due respect to their differing talents, personalities and accomplishments?
Lloyd signed a one-year contract Tuesday with the 49ers, who drafted him in 2003 and traded him away after three seasons.
Lloyd, who turns 33 on July 5, will look to bolster a unit featuring Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree as starters. In 2012, Moss returned to the NFL and delivered mixed results, producing 28 receptions for 434 yards and four touchdowns, but also proclaiming before the Super Bowl that he was the best receiver of all-time.
A fourth-round pick out of Illinois, Lloyd played three seasons with the 49ers before setting off on a nomadic path: the Washington Redskins (2006-07), Chicago Bears (2008), Denver Broncos (2009-11), St. Louis Rams (2011) and New England Patriots (2012). His best season came in 2010 when he led the league in receiving yards (1,448) and ranked fourth in receiving touchdowns (11).
Lloyd (6-foot, 200 pounds) was a productive target for Tom Brady in 2012, with 74 receptions for 911 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season, as well as 12 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown in two playoff games. The Patriots released him in March 2013, rather than pay him a $3 million roster bonus.