Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe learned from a team source that the New England Patriots organization had issues with veteran wide receiver Brandon Lloyd‘s attitude this past season. The 2012 offseason signing had some solid production at a cheap cost in his first year, but Lloyd was, to some, a disappointment and won’t be as cheap next season.
While Lloyd’s base salary isn’t significant, a few beat writers, like Mike Reiss, believe that he isn’t a lock to be retained in 2013 due to his $3 million option bonus for this next season. According to Bedard, the Patriots will likely not exercise the option on Lloyd, which would put them out of their second-best wide receiver.
The source told Bedard that Lloyd’s ”erratic behavior in the locker room and on the practice field” is an issue for the Patriots, and there are plenty of reasons to think that the Pats will not be keeping Lloyd next season.
If the Pats do let Lloyd go, then wide receiver is the biggest need going forward, and I could see the Patriots make a run for a big-name WR free agent or, more likely, prioritize the position in this year’s draft. This draft is stacked with talent at the position, and it goes beyond the first-round guys like Tavon Austin. Teammate Stedman Bailey is a potential steal as well.
At first, I thought “erratic behavior” was a new problem for Lloyd that didn’t happen in the past. However, the Denver Broncos did have issues with Lloyd’s behavior and even went as far to consider that Lloyd is bipolar. I don’t think the main reason for letting Lloyd go would be due to his behavior, but it is certainly far motivation for not exercising that $3 million option.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.