It didn’t happen on Day 1 of NFL free agency.
Or Day 2 or Day 3.
But the New England Patriots have reloaded their wide receiving corps; a certain position of need going into the off-season.
In perhaps one of the biggest bargains of NFL free agency, they locked up Brandon Lloyd for three years and roughly $12 Million. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What a deal. Here’s the deep threat that the Pats have been lacking since Randy Moss left. Lloyd’s last two seasons in the NFL have been noteworthy for two reasons. 1. He has totaled 2,414 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns, 2. He’s done most of that damage under the coaching of now current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, not to mention being behind a mediocre QB on a craptastic team (Sorry St. Louis fans).
I don’t know if you can tell from my over-the-top hyperbole, but I am more excited than a pedophile at a Hannah Montana concert. Why you ask? Because Lloyd can stretch the field and open things up inside for the likes of Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski, and again, in an off-season where Pierre Garcon got a five-year $42 Million contract, Lloyd is an absolute STEAL! Not to mention how much of a huge upgrade he is from Deion Branch (being one of my favorite underrated WRs) and Chad not-so Ochocinco.
But the Patriots weren’t done there. Oh, no. They were just getting started making killer moves in the off season.
They went out and signed former Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, to a one-year deal, and then on Monday signed Donte’ Stallworth. This is where my jaw hit the floor.
Yes, Stallworth was part of the Patriot’s historic 2007 team (again, with Josh McDaniels here), totaling 697 yards on 46 catches with three touchdowns, but will a return to Gillette really payoff for his career? After three dismal seasons on the Browns, Ravens, and Redskins, Stallworth is undoubtedly in the best position he’s been in since leaving the Pats, but how much more gumption and talent does he still have in him? He’s been whored out to so many different teams over the past few years, and played for so many different offensive coordinators, who knows where his head is or where his true talent lies? This could be a make-or-break year for his career.
The Patriots also addressed their extreme need for a tight end (kidding).
By signing veteran TE Daniel Fells from the Broncos, the Patriots bring on a third tight end they didn’t have last season. What will he add to our massive TE collection? I think he was brought in to provide not only blocking help when need be, but to also allow Aaron Hernandez to show his versatility by lining up as a wide receiver (not that we really need it after these recent three WR acquisitions).
So what does this mean for the Patriots? Well, an already stellar offense just got that much better. (can it be true??) It doesn’t take a genius to realize the NFL is all about passing now, and with Tom Brady at QB and a restocked set of receiving options, the Patriots should again be one of the best offenses in the NFL…
The Patriots went 18-1 in Stallworth’s only season with the team. This season’s offensive production should be similar but its outcome is still yet to be determined. So stay-tuned for one hell of a crazy (albeit legendary) season with one of the most formidable offensive QB/Coach/WR combinations in NFL history. Even if Peyton is a Bronco, and Tebow is slinging the ball for the Jets, I dont see any real roadblocks for the Patriots this year – Especially in our own conference. Hell – if the Jets want to ruin their throwing game by adding another crappy arm, let them! I cant wait for the ‘holier-than-thou’ Tebow to get a real taste of the good ole New York agnostic fan-base of troglodytes.