With Deion Branch's contract set to expire at the end of the 2011 season and receiver Chad Ochocinco not exactly playing up to expectations, the New England Patriots might be in the market for a #2 receiver this offseason.
When news came earlier today that Josh McDaniels would be returning to the Patriots, one name that immediately came to mind was Brandon Lloyd, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Lloyd has experienced tremendous success under McDaniels in a little more than two seasons. In 2010, Lloyd set a career highs in receptions (77), yards (1,448), and touchdowns (11). He led the NFL in receiving and was named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams. This year, McDaniels, with the Rams, helped convince his new team to trade for Lloyd. Lloyd experienced moderate success, with 51 catches for 683 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games.
The Patriots have previously expressed interested in Lloyd. The Patriots were in discussions to acquire him from the Broncos prior to the trade deadline this year. Ultimately, he ended up in St. Louis. But with Josh McDaniels now landing back in New England, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to think that he could land in New England, especially when considering what Lloyd recently said to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"I can't even lie about that. I'm tied to McDaniels. He uses me differently than other offensive coordinators used me in my entire career. He uses me as an every-play receiver. The short game, mid-range game, gimmick passes, deep balls. I do everything in this offense as opposed to other coordinators who would just run me off as the deep guy; run me off into double coverage and then say I'm not open. So I really like how Josh uses me within the offense. I'm extremely comfortable in the offense."
Lloyd then continued:
"Probably No. 1 (as a factor), because I want to be successful, and I want to earn whatever money I'm making. I want to be used in ways where I feel comfortable and I can be successful. And Josh knows how to do that."
Bringing a player such as Brandon Lloyd into the picture would certainly be a slam dunk move for the Patriots. Lloyd has already had tremendous success in McDaniels' schemes, still has plenty in the tank (turns 31 in July), and may event take a discount to join McDaniels in New England. Lloyd can do a bit of everything - he can separate short or deep down the field, make spectacular grabs, and turn short throws into long gains.
All of this being said, what would be your opinion of Brandon Lloyd joining the Patriots in the 2012 offseason?