It has long been speculated that one of the New England Patriots top priorities was to sign a top wide receiver through free agency. While that was the thought of people outside the organization, there had been no proof of that until now. On Friday, the Boston Globe reported that Reggie Wayne chose to re-sign with the Indianapolis Colts over the Patriots.
While it’s been speculated that a free agent receiver was a top priority, others have speculated that the Patriots might go after a defensive player first and use the draft for a receiver. The Patriots had one of the best offenses in the NFL in 2011 but had one of the worst defenses. The fact that the Patriots attempted to sign Wayne shows that the team is in fact attempting to sign a top receiver through free agency.
While the Patriots have a great offense returning in 2012, the one problem for the offense has been at wide receiver. The best receiver on the team in 2011 was Wes Welker. In fact, Welker and Deion Branch were the only two productive wide receivers on the team. To compensate for the lack of outside threats, tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski were featured prominently in the passing game.
Now that it’s been proven that the team is looking to sign a receiver through free agency, the question is who they will sign. The free agent most likely to join the Patriots is Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd has recently met with the San Francisco 49ers but has discussed his admiration for Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the Patriots organization. Besides a desire to join New England, Lloyd has had success with the new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Lloyd was with the Denver Broncos where McDaniels was the head coach in 2010. If he does sign with New England, the Patriots hope he can replicate that success.