Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com reports on the status of Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. "A league source told me at the NFL Combine that Lloyd isn't even on the Patriots projected depth chart for 2013 despite having signed a three-year, $12 million deal last offseason," writes Curran. "Still, on production alone you'd figure Lloyd would be part of the Patriots' plans, especially given the fact that Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Deion Branch all have expiring contracts and Kamar Aiken is the only wideout under contract." If the Patriots decide to keep Lloyd in the fold for 2013, the team will have to pick up his $3 million option bonus. "If the option is not exercised, the Patriots will avoid Lloyd's $1.9 million salary. The $2 million "untolled" remainder of Lloyd's $3 million signing bonus will hit the cap, but the cap savings without Lloyd will be $2.5 million," adds Curran.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports believes that Tom Brady's new contract extension does not guarantee Wes Welker's return to the Patriots. "If it takes giving Welker a franchise tag of more than $11 million for this season, which the team has reportedly decided against, or a three-year deal worth $33 million with $21 million guaranteed (or some version of that), New England needs to do that," writes Cole.
Mike Jurecki of XTRA Sports 910 in Phoenix tweets that he has confirmed the Arizona Cardinals are not expected to pursue a trade for Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. This comes on the heels of a Boston Herald report that the Patriots are not actively shopping the 24-year-old quarterback.
Nate Davis of USA TODAY believes the Patriots should devote their added salary cap space to strengthen the secondary and wide receiver positions. "An affordable deep threat (Devery Henderson, Donnie Avery) could be a consideration," writes Davis on potential wide receiver targets. He also lists Sean Smith, Brent Grimes, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Mike Jenkins, Chris Houston and Derek Cox as free agent cornerback options outside of Aqib Talib and Kyle Arrington.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com thinks that the addition of Armond Armstead to the defensive line won't stop the Patriots from drafting a big interior lineman in this year's NFL Draft. "One thing seems certain when assessing Armstead's skill set is that he should, at the least, be a factor as an interior pass rusher in sub packages (which the Patriots played 57 percent of the time in 2012)," adds Reiss. "That's the role the Patriots had in mind for free-agent Jonathan Fanene, but that didn't work out in 2012."