Since the start of the off-season, there has been speculation that New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd may be cut. According to the Boston Globe, speculation has now shifted to major doubt about Lloyd returning for a second year in New England because of his “erratic behavior”. League sources confirmed that Lloyd had behavioral issues in the locker room and was also a nuisance on the practice field.
If the Patriots choose to cut Lloyd, they will save $4.9 million against the salary cap for this season as the wide-out had a $1.9 million base salary, along with a $3 million bonus due at some point in 2013 if he remained with the club.
With Tom Brady electing to sign an inexpensive contract extension, the Patriots now feel confident they can re-sign Wes Welker to a three-year deal. With Welker possibly returning, the Patriots will be more at ease if they do in fact release Lloyd.
Statistically speaking, Lloyd had a decent first season in New England. The 31-year old receiver hauled in 74 receptions for 911 yards with four touchdowns. Still, his production in the Patriots high-octane offense was relatively mediocre. Lloyd was never able to stretch the field like the team had envisioned him to do this season, proving he can’t be counted on to be the No. 1 wide receiver in their offense.
The Patriots will likely move on from Lloyd, because the receiver was unable to provide a legitimate deep-ball threat. New England will likely seek a big-bodied replacement for Lloyd, possibly in free agency, but more likely in the draft.
Whichever route the Patriots elect to go, they will look for a receiver that can get behind the defensive backs and reel in the “50-50” passes. The Patriots hope they can find a receiver with a big frame that can make plays down-field against one-one-one coverage, something Brandon Lloyd was unable to do in his lone year in New England.