2012 NFL Free Agents: Why Brandon Lloyd to the Patriots Must Happen

Nick DeWittAnalyst IMarch 16, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Brandon Browner #39 of the Seattle Seahawks breaks up a pass intended for Brandon Lloyd #83 of the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 20, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Seahawks beat the Rams 24-7.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

We’ve heard all about the top receivers on the market. Vincent Jackson signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Robert Meachem replaced him with the San Diego Chargers, DeSean Jackson surprisingly returned to the Philadelphia Eagles and Laurent Robinson went to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Where has the Brandon Lloyd market been?

The New England Patriots have the need, as well as Lloyd’s former coach in Josh McDaniels. They also have all-world quarterback Tom Brady.

Lloyd has the deep speed and great hands that the Patriots lack.

This seems like a good deal to me.

I can’t believe Lloyd will be cheap. The wide receiver market, however, has dried up considerably. With the Jackson boys off the market and the up-and-coming Robinson finding a home as well, Lloyd is the best man available.

That is, unless you count Mike Wallace, but he’ll cost money and a first-round draft pick. The Patriots have both to spare, but why overpay when you can use the money to get Lloyd? He's a similar player with only slightly less overall talent and ability.

Lloyd is the perfect fit for a Bill Belichick team. He’s quiet, hard-working and doesn’t have the typical wide receiver mentality that is so well represented by guys like DeSean Jackson and Terrell Owens.

He’s a faster version of Wes Welker—can you imagine teaming those two guys up?

The Patriots could take their chances in the draft, but they’ve been inept at getting a wide receiver there for a while now. They tried with Chad Jackson several years back and that didn’t work. They have got some good complementary pieces like Julian Edelmen, but that doesn’t do it.

The team struck gold when they plucked Welker from Miami, and they could do it again with Lloyd from the Rams. I’m also surprised that the Rams haven’t made a big play to get him back. However, they are likely eyeing Justin Blackmon and allowing that to blind them at this point.

The Patriots have bigger needs (their secondary, for starters) which they need draft picks to work on. For that reason, they can afford to focus on wide receiver right now. That’s the best fit for them at any position given what remains of the market.