Report: Patriots reach agreement with WR Brandon Lloyd

Lloyd could be the deep threat the Patriots lacked last season.   (Getty Images)

After a relatively quiet start to free agency, the New England Patriots have slowly begun to address some of their biggest needs. They inked former Bengals defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene to a three-year deal earlier this week, and on Saturday, the Pats upgraded their wide receivers corps by signing Anthony Gonzalez, and a few hours later, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, New England reached an agreement with Brandon Lloyd. NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports that contract is for three-years and $12 million.

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Lloyd, who played with the Broncos and Rams last season, didn't hide the fact that he wanted to be reunited with Josh McDaniels, his head coach in Denver who now serves as New England's offensive coordinator. In 2010, Lloyd had 77 receptions for 1,448 yards (18.8 YPC) and 11 touchdowns. This was with Kyle Orton throwing him passes.

In New England, the hope is that he will become the deep threat that Chad Ochocinco couldn't (Ochocinco had just 15 catches during the 2011 regular season and one touchdown).

If it sounds like the Patriots got a bargain, well, they did.

Compare Lloyd's three-year, $12 million contract (he ranked seventh on our Eye on Football free-agent WR list)   to what some of the other top wideouts got in free agency:

* Pierre Garcon, Redskins: five years, $42 million
* Josh Morgan, Redskins: two years, $12 million 
* Laurent Robinson: five years, $32 million
* Robert Meachem, Chargers: four years, $25.9 million 
* Reggie Wayne, Colts: three years, $17.5 million 
* Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers: five years, $55.5 million 

So what gives? The Boston Globe's Greg Bedard explains via Twitter:

We spoke to Lloyd at the Super Bowl and he couldn't have been nicer but he's also been labeled a problem in the locker room. The Broncos reportedly shipped him to St. Louis because of it, and Lloyd even admitted recently that he was disrespectful to then-head coach Joe Gibbs when Lloyd played for the Redskins.

But Bill Belichick isn't afraid to take on such challenges. He had great success with Corey Dillon and Randy Moss, although Albert Haynesworth was a different story. We suspect that Lloyd will be less of an issue. Partly because he's worked with McDaniels before, but mostly because Brady won't allow it.

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CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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