Brandon Lloyd has left the building. After one season in New England, the Patriots have cut ties with the acrobatic wide receiver to create cap space for future signings.
The Patriots offseason motto this year appears to be, “out with the old, in with the new!” In a span of days New England has cut Brandon Lloyd and let Wes Welker walk in free agency. Both receivers are in their thirties. Meanwhile, they signed 27-year-old slot receiver Danny Amendola to a five year contract.
Maybe the Patriots just believe it doesn’t matter who Tom Brady throws too, as long Tom Brady is throwing the ball.
More than anything, the release of Brandon Lloyd points to New England trusting tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez more than traditional wide receivers. It doesn’t hurt both players are still in their twenties as well.
If the Patriots are going with a youth movement, then cutting Brandon Lloyd also signals Donte Stallworth probably won’t return in 2013, despite mutual interest to the contrary. It is also possible New England is just hoping to bring Lloyd back at a cheaper salary.
Overall, New England did not get what they were hoping when they signed the aging Lloyd to a three year, $12 million contract last offseason. Hoping he would be a dangerous weapon, Lloyd only caught 74 passes for 911 yards. In fact, Lloyd has only surpassed 1,000 yards once in his career. On Denver in 2010 he had 77 receptions for 1,448 yards.
Cutting Brandon Lloyd saves the Patriots the $8 million left on his contract, along with a $3 million roster bones he was due. It is unclear what New England plans to use the extra money for with a number of high profile free agents having already found homes. Maybe they are trying to save money to sign their draft picks in April.
Always important to remember about contracts. Last year, Brandon Lloyd signed a 3-year, $12M deal. Only earned $4M of it in one year.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2013
Patriots release of Brandon Lloyd avoids a guaranteed payment to him and creates more cap space. could end up back there cheaply
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 16, 2013
Do you think the Patriots should have cut Brandon Lloyd? Where do you think he will land in 2013?