UPDATE: Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe is reporting that the deal is for three years and worth $12 million. Very reasonable, in my opinion. Props to Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio for waiting out the market and getting Lloyd to lower his price. Definitely represents a victory for the Patriots.
After months of speculation, the Patriots have finally landed free agent receiver Brandon Lloyd. That is, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter (and since confirmed by other outlets). There's only one way to describe the feelings of most Patriots fans after hearing this... FINALLY!
Here are five of my thoughts on the signing:
1. Legitimate deep threat for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
While Brandon Lloyd might not have 4.3 speed, he is deceptively fast, and is certainly fast enough to get separation from defensive backs and knows how to go up and get the ball. He can run the entire route tree, but is most certainly a legitimate deep threat for the Patriots, something the team has lacked since Randy Moss was shipped out during the 2010 season.
2. Lloyd will open things up for Welker, Gronkowski, and Hernandez
Having a player like Brandon Lloyd on the Patriots will make everyone around him better. The attention he will draw deep will allow Wes Welker more space to work underneath. For Rob Gronkowski, defenses won't be able to bunch the box as much, which means he should be able to get open more often down the seam. Finally, for Aaron Hernandez, he likely won't be facing off against the opponent's best cornerbacks anymore, which means he should be facing lesser competition.
3. Knowledge of the system
When it comes to Lloyd, Patriots fans won't have to worry about him adjusting to the team's system and playbook, which was the issue with Chad Ochocinco in 2011. Lloyd has played under current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels since 2009, and he has seen the most success of his career in his offensive system. This means two things. First, it means that knowledge of the system won't keep Lloyd off the field. And second, that Lloyd will be able to quickly focus on establishing a rapport and chemistry with Tom Brady.
Two more thoughts after the jump!
4. Dynamic Patriots Offense
The Patriots are now faced with a possibility of having an even more dynamic offense than their historic 2007 group. While Lloyd certainly isn't anywhere as close to being as good as 2007 Randy Moss was, when you add him to a group that already includes quarterback Tom Brady, tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and slot receiver Aaron Hernandez (not to mention Ochocinco and Deion Branch who could both return as well as a running attack that could be better than 2007), you get a group that certainly has record breaking potential. The thought of seeing this group in 2012 is certainly exciting.
5. Deal with Tom Condon
The Patriots and Tom Condon haven't done business since the 2004 season, when rookie contract negotiations broke down with 32nd overall pick Ben Watson. Each side has literally ignored the existence of the other for the last eight years, and tonight's deal with Lloyd represents a breakthrough in that area. Perhaps this opens the door for Condon and the Patriots to work on other deals in the future.