“Brandon, we hardly knew ye.”
That will soon become the epitaph for the short, unhappy career of Brandon Lloyd in New England.
The Patriots wide receiver is widely assumed to be on his way out of town because the Patriots are unlikely to pick up a $3 million option bonus it appears must be exercised by March 31. As of yesterday, agent Tom Condon hasn’t had any communication with the Patriots about Lloyd. And more damning is that, according to associates of Lloyd, he has had no communication with the man who strongly advocated bringing him to New England, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Silence may be golden in some circumstances, but not when a team is deciding whether or not to hand you some gold as a retainer fee.
What is most damning though is that the cost to retain Lloyd, at a time when every veteran Pats receiver besides Matthew Slater is slated to become a free agent, is minimal. It would cost the Pats only $2 million in real money this year to exercise his option (plus the $1.9 million salary he’s set to be paid), because the final million is deferred until March 31, 2014, and only $1.5 million in cap dollars (plus that salary) because its cost would be spread over the final two years of the three-year, $12 million contract he signed last March.
That signing was highly recommended by McDaniels, who coaxed and coached the best year of his career out of Lloyd in 2010, when he had 77 receptions for 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns in Denver. But as some predicted, that was the outlier year. Last season, Lloyd caught 74 passes for 911 yards and four scores, decent numbers but nothing special, and not the kind of downfield presence McDaniels promised.
Lloyd’s numbers were similar to what he’d done throughout most of his 10-year career. They were adequate but easily replaceable and, frankly, too costly for a guy who seemed unable to get on the same page with Tom Brady very often.