NEPD Staff Writer: Tony Santorsa
The future is still up in the air for Brandon Lloyd as there have been reports indicating that the soon-to-be 32-year-old wide receiver is not in the New England Patriots plans for the 2013 season.
If the Patriots do decide to cut Lloyd, as he’s owed a $3 million bonus, the team will have to make their decision by March 16.
Assuming that the Patriots do cut Lloyd, then one free agent possibility for the team to sign to fill the X wide receiver role could be David Nelson of the Buffalo Bills.
Nelson, who has spent his entire three-year career with the Buffalo Bills is certainly someone that Bill Belichick and the Patriots would consider. Nelson, who’s a Florida product, would likely be a much cheaper option than other wide receivers in the free agent market but could have a surprising impact in New England’s high-powered passing attack.
The 26-year-old might have just played in one game this past season for the Bills, as he tore his ACL back in Week 1, but he should be all ready to go for the start of the 2013 season.
Nelson’s best season in Buffalo came in 2011 as he played in all 16 games while recording 61 receptions on 97 targets while accumulating 658 yards and scoring five touchdowns—keep in mind, Nelson was catching passes from the very inconsistent Ryan Fitzpatrick.
To compare Nelson’s 2011 season to Lloyd’s first season with the Patriots, they don’t necessarily add up—as Lloyd recorded 74 receptions for 911 yards and four touchdowns. However, the one edge that Nelson has on Lloyd his his yards-after-catch, as he posted 3.7 in 2011 while Lloyd posted just 2.7.
Standing in at 6’5″, Nelson certainly has the size that the Patriots have been lacking at the wide receiver position for quite sometime and could fit in nicely with tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
As Lloyd is owed $3 million on March 16 and will earn $1.9 million in 2013, Nelson should be a much cheaper option and does have the potential to post much more impressive numbers than Lloyd did with Tom Brady.
Keep in mind, those is all assuming that the Patriots do decide to cut Lloyd, and if they do then Nelson is someone that the team definitely needs to consider.