The NFL rumor mill has spent a few years now connecting Vincent Jackson to the St. Louis Rams, but coming into the 2012 season we do have a new piece of information to bring to bear on the question of star free agent wide receivers and Sam Bradford: Brandon Lloyd.
Here's what we learned: A great wide receiver makes the offense better, but nothing—not even Sam Bradford throwing to an established star—can save an offense as hopeless as the one the Rams fielded last year. In 11 starts he caught 51 balls for 683 yards and five touchdowns, and the Rams were still completely hopeless on offense. They could have had three or four Brandon Lloyds and still managed to be just as hopeless, somehow.
Of course, we won't know for a while yet whether the new braintrust's offense is any better than the one Josh McDaniels hastily installed and dismantled with Brandon Lloyd atop the depth chart. But whatever happens with Vincent Jackson, we'll be left to wonder what's the difference.