This sort of goes without saying, because the New England Patriots just re-signed Julian Edelman and sent a one-year offer sheet for Emmanuel Sanders to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But there was still some speculation from a few Pats fans about the future of Brandon Lloyd, who is currently the best available free agent wide receiver. The way in which former Pats beat writer and current NFL Insider Ian Rapoport addressed the rumors was extremely interesting.
Rapoport tweeted that he would be “beyond shocked” (if you think about it, that’s a really strong statement) to see Brandon Lloyd stay with the New England Patriots. Boston Globe beat writer Greg Bedard tweeted, “Yup” in response to Rapoport’s assessment of the situation.
The fact that Lloyd won’t be sticking around in New England is pretty obvious, because the Pats seemed all too-willing to let Lloyd walk instead of picking up his $3 million bonus and 74 receptions in 2012. Some will tell you that it is due to “erratic behavior”, but I think it’s because the Patriots just don’t want Lloyd. His behavior is likely a very small piece of the pie, but the Pats decision is most likely due to their desire to go younger at the position. They didn’t view Lloyd as a true deep threat in their offense, and I have a strange feeling that Donald Jones has basically replaced him on the outside.
It’s crazy to think that Lloyd still doesn’t have any suitors or any interest at all in free agency, because he did catch 74 passes last season, caught 70 in 2011, and he had 1,448 receiving yards back in 2010. That’s three straight seasons with at least 70 receptions, and yet he hasn’t received a lick of interest since being shown the door out of Foxboro on the 16th of March. So yeah, about a month.
That’s why the whole Lloyd storyline is still of interest, because Lloyd hasn’t gotten interest from anyone. The Minnesota Vikings even denied that they were pursuing Lloyd at one point. Another reason why there was a possibility of a reunion between Lloyd and the Patriots is because Lloyd seemed to want to take a paycut to play for the New England Patriots. But the Patriots are going younger and don’t seem to have mutual interest in bringing back the 31-year-old Illinois product. Lloyd will most definitely come at a discounted rate due to his non-existent free agent interest, but the tweets from Rapoport and Bedard tell us that it almost certainly won’t be happening.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.