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Analysis: Lloyd's release

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The relationship between Brandon Lloyd and the Patriots was never a comfortable one. It appeared that way a year ago, when Lloyd, the veteran receiver who'd had some of his most productive times working with Josh McDaniels in Denver and St. Louis, insisted on following McDaniels wherever he went. When McDaniels rejoined the Patriots, it was all but a formality that Lloyd would follow.

But despite putting up seemingly impressive stats in 2012 (starting 15 games, catching 74 passes for 911 yards and four scores), Lloyd just never seemed to fit in. Given multi-year contract with a hefty bonus that was due today, the Patriots had to decide whether or not to continue with Lloyd on the wide receiver roster – an area that was thin to begin with and was left even more so this past week with the departure of franchise leading receiver Wes Welker.

New England opted to release Lloyd this afternoon, after reportedly being unable to re-work the receiver's contract to minimize his salary cap his for 2013, which would have been close to $5 million.

Though New England signed Danny Amendola and Donald Jones this past week, the team is still very thin at wideout. Lloyd's release almost makes certain the likelihood that the Patriots will have to target a receiver in next month's NFL Draft, as well as continuing to look for help at the position via free agency.

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