2012 Free Agency: Patriots Sign Brandon Lloyd

Brandon Lloyd will be making highlight reel catches in NE next year

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The worst kept secret in free agency became reality on Saturday as the New England Patriots signed former St. Louis Rams and Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd, albeit a couple days later than anticipated.

UPDATE: The deal is reportedly for 3 years / $12 million.

The move which seemed like a formality leading up to the beginning of the free agent signing period took longer than expected as the Patriots waited for Lloyd’s price to drop. Lloyd had been effusive that he wanted to play “where ever Josh McDaniels went” and the most important thing to him would be “who was throwing him the ball”. The Patriots and Lloyd were finally able to agree to terms on Saturday giving Patriots that much needed play making WR that they sorely lacked throughout last year.

Lloyd split his time between the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams last season, amassing 70 catches for 966 yards and 5 TDs despite playing with some very shaky QBs. In 2010 Lloyd enjoyed a breakout season in Josh McDaniels offense. Lloyd lead the NFL in receiving yards with 1, 448 while also hauling in 11 TD receptions. Lloyd is likely to fill the outside WR position in New England.

Lloyd will give the Patriots another legitimate receiving threat and should add another dimension to an already dynamic passing attack. Lloyd is a highly skilled player who has great hands, is known for making highlight reel catches, has tremendous route running ability and is already familiar with the Patriots playbook. The Patriots had hoped that Chad Ochocinco would be able to fill that role last season, but the marriage just didn’t work out. Ochocinco struggled mightily to learn the complex playbook and just couldn’t get on the same page as QB Tom Brady.

The lack of speed at WR really hurt the Patriots at times during the 2011 season. The team become so reliant on Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez getting open, that if an opposing team was able to shut those three down the Patriots offense would struggle. Deion Branch is a favorite of Tom Brady and understands the offense better than anyone, but he has lost more than a step. Looking back, it probably cost the Patriots the Super Bowl, by not having a WR who could create separation and get open on his own. Fans won’t have to worry about a repeat of the Chad Ochocinco situation as Lloyd has excelled and revived his career in Josh McDaniels’ offense.

Lloyd has bounced around NFL from San Francisco to Washington to Chicago, but failed to live up to expectations. When Josh McDaniels was hired as the Broncos head coach, he brought Lloyd in and he flourished in the system. It’s rare for someone to enjoy a breakout year seven years into their NFL career, but Lloyd broke out in a big way. McDaniels thought highly enough of Lloyd that when he was fired as Broncos coach and then hired to be the offensive coordinator in St. Louis, he stumped for the Rams to trade for Lloyd. Lloyd immediately became the best WR in St. Louis and enjoyed success despite major injuries at QB. When Josh McDaniels was hired as the offensive coordinator in New England, speculation began immediately about Lloyd coming to New England.

Many expected Lloyd to sign immediately on Tuesday afternoon, however it seems that Lloyd being so forthcoming about his desire to play in New England actually hurt him. The Patriots held all the leverage in negotiations, making it possible for Bill Belichick to wait him and his agent Tom Condon out. LLoyd did take a visit to San Francisco. That visit however, was rumored to be a smokescreen done as a favor to Tom Condon to drive the interest and price up on Lloyd. It didn’t work as Bill Belichick held his ground and ultimately the two sides were able to come to an agreement on Saturday.

The Patriots finally got their WR and Lloyd finally got his team.

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32 Responses to “2012 Free Agency: Patriots Sign Brandon Lloyd”

  1. Jeff says:

    This should be a great addition for the offense. If Lloyd averages the 17-18 ypc that he’s capable of (especially with the heavy focus underneath on Welker, Hernandez and Gronk) he could be in the 50-60 catch range for the year and STILL hit the 1,000 yard mark.

    I think it’s very likely that the TE’s and Welker will all have increased ypc this year due to teams having to play honest over the top which will lead to all of them having reduced catch totals but similar yardage.

    Welker will be back down at the 100 catch range and Gronk and Hernandez will be back in the 70 catch range each.

  2. dslave says:

    bjge is way too slow to the line of scrimmage. He can get you positive yards, but my thinking is if he’s your starter, that can be up graded. He’s a solid productive back. But he’ll never be a treat or scare any d. If they retain him, i would like to see him as a 400 yard back. NOT RIDLEY .

  3. Jim R says:

    Everybody else is playing for second

  4. Ratzalot says:

    Most have been anticipating this signing and most will agree this is a good pick-up for the Patriots. However, what makes this truly exciting is the price. A three year deal at ~$4 million/year is an outstanding deal for New England and indicates Lloyd is more interested in playing good football and winning a championship than money.

    I don’t believe this changes anything with regard to drafting a WR (or two) early this April. Lloyd isn’t exactly young and is really more of a three-year band-aid.

    The Lloyd contract makes me question the Steve Gregory contract even more regarding the amount of money spent. The Patriots could draft Trumaine Johnson as a free safety in the second-third round and come away with a young player with more potential than Gregory.

    • td says:

      It also shows that there was not that much of a market for the 30yr old WR at that price. Only heard of Pat’s & 49ers talking to him.

  5. STEVEN G says:

    Still need to draft a WR fairlly early. One with some size n speed. Maby 2. Heres hoping for a stud 5-tech n olb. All would be good in Pats land. Hurry up April already.

  6. td says:

    Gives BB a lot of options come draft day. Sign Carter and/or Anderson and cross DE off the list. Can focus on OL depth and DBacks.

  7. willie says:

    two players that scream pats to me are jared crick and ryan broyles… both top talents before injuries… and you guys can draft them much later than they would be drafted if they finished college careers healthy

    Both seem like BB moves

  8. Dan says:

    I would highly doubt they use all 4 of those first two round’s picks…too many rookies. They have increased their leverage greatly and can move up or down easier, mostly because they’re not going to be desperate now that they have plugged some key holes.
    I’m not worried whether it’s a trade up, back or into the next year…or all of the above…I just want a few more nice players into camp looking to help out.

  9. Joe Blake says:

    Bye bye Ochochad. Hope Lloyd is not a head case.

  10. Jeff says:

    So now the Pats have 1 client of Tom Condon’s on the team? If anyone knows the story behind Condon and BB not willing to work together please fill me in. I am thinking about all of the drafts picks the Pats may have past on just because Condon represented them..if this is true then this is trully stupid and childish on BB’s part. If it is true.

    • td says:

      Condon was Ben Watson’s agent out of college who insisted Watson hold out, after missing OTA’s and part of camp, Pat’s issued an ultimatum at which point Condon resigned as his agent. Had been bad blood since then.

  11. Joe Blake says:

    Great post and nice decisions by BB. Now lets focus on Defense for the draft…DL, SS in round one followed by a CB and OLB. Lets get another super bowl for Vince! ps: bring Bengy back.

  12. mark haffenreffer says:

    Dont fret if it is a corner and an offensive lineman early. It might even be a stud RB although less likely. A blocking tight end, a center, a defensive end and outside linebacker are also in the mix. In short, it will be the best player available and I have no doubt that one of the 1st’s becomes a second and either another second or a first.

  13. Lundahl says:

    Now lets sign Welker, draft Joe Adams and get rid of Ocho !

  14. JMC says:

    Landry could be productive as a Patriot as a 2 down or part time player- one on one vs TEs and/or as a pass rusher.

  15. JMC says:

    I think the idea that you ‘get rid’ of Benny is really stupid.

    I hope they don’t trade out of the draft this year. It would be good to get two players on defense in round #1 of the draft but Konz may be a good pick.

  16. John M says:

    I would like to see BJGE back as our RB. If we could sign him for 6 million dollars over 2 years, would you do it? Am I too high or low with my guess?

    • Tanner says:

      I would actually say get rid of BJGE. We have steven ridley and shane vereen, who are probably both better than BJGE. Sure the guy never fumbles, but he also never even breaks 3 yardsin a play. ridley and vereen both have tremendous talent based on preseason and college footage.

  17. AM says:

    Superb signing. Some more depth on defense (not LaRon Landry, please), and retaining the Law Firm at a reasonable price, and it will have been an almost perfect free agency period. The only remaining piece on offense, other than the draft, would be getting Welker into the fold for real.

  18. Dan says:

    When the rest of the league is signing receivers for tens of millions we get a nice addition on (another) great deal…amazing!!!

    I’m still very curious to see how the Welker situation plays out. Bringing in Gonzalez is interesting.

    I still would like to see Randle drafted, but the defense will be key; but I doubt BB will want so many rookies on defense.

  19. dslave says:

    50 to 60 catches. 700 too 900 yards. Thats all it should take for him if alls healthy. Interested to see what the terms are for. No Mike Wallace. No way we need him. I’d be shocked if they persued him.

    • JoeT says:

      I don’t think we were ever pursuing Wallace, as we would have to give up a 1st among other reasons.

      But I think this changes our draft a bit; now we have so much depth at WR I could see the patriots not drafting at the position entirely, unless someone they really like drops down the board to them in rounds 2-5.

      Do you see them re-signing Branch? or just cutting ties at this point. We obviously do not need him now, but he could add depth, veteran presence, and is a reliable target for Tom if for some reason Lloyd/gonzalez/ochocinco do not pan out at all this year.

      • Tom says:

        I don’t think Branch will be back. I do think they will draft at least one WR, probably in the 2nd. There is so much depth in this year’s class that I think they will take a chance. Cut down day will be very interesting.

        • qwerty says:

          one won’t know the scale of preseason injuries so it’s good to have more receivers than you need.

  20. McTash says:

    Terms will be interesting.

    Let’s continue fixing the D.

    • Jeff says:

      Still need a starting FS and depth at CB. I would love the pats to get a stud dt in the draft.

  21. Condor says:

    Yes! A sweet addition to the offense. Lloyd, the draft picks & the 2 young backs…this offense will be lethal. Better than ’07.

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