It sounds more and more like the New England Patriots will not be exercising Brandon Lloyd‘s $3 million option for next season, as Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reported earlier that the Patriots are worried about his “erratic behavior”. Now, CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran is reporting that a league source stated that Brandon Lloyd is not in the team’s plans for the 2013 season. Not only that but, as Curran writes, “A league source told me at the NFL Combine that Lloyd isn’t even on the Patriots projected depth chart for 2013 despite having signed a three-year, $12 million deal last offseason.”
Lloyd’s base salary is rather cheap and he did haul in 74 receptions in a solid year, but people expected more from Lloyd. Not only that, but his rate statistics (catch rate, yards per target) were fairly average, and the Patriots don’t think it’s worth giving a guy $3 million to play average football and show behavior issues.
These problems with Lloyd’s behavior aren’t new, because the Denver Broncos had issues with Lloyd. Some members of the front office even thought that he was bipolar, which means that his hot-and-cold attitude must have really been extreme in Denver. If that’s the case, then it probably wasn’t much better in New England.
I like Lloyd, but the articles from the Globe and CSNNE are pretty damning, because the sources are pinpointing that Lloyd won’t be back next season. Curran said that a Patriots player he interviewed called Lloyd “weird”, and, of course, people might have an issue with the fact that he didn’t seem to try to get many yards after the catch.
At this point in time, I am steadily changing my stance on Lloyd from a “keep him” to a “it’s not worth it”. Curran also wrote the following reasons for not keeping Lloyd, “an enigmatic personality, aversion to physical contact, inability to find a consistent niche in the offense and financial disposability.”
Ouch. I think the Patriots are best served trying to go after a big-name free agent wideout if there is one that the team desires (and being careful not to overpay that player), or drafting a wideout with a high pick. In my opinion, wide receiver is this team’s prime need for sure if they do want to drop Lloyd. He played very well at the end of the season, but it sounds like the Patriots don’t deem him worth the trouble.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.