- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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One of the most underrated free-agent additions in the NFL this year could be New England Patriots receiver Brandon Lloyd. He signed a modest three-year, $12 million contract and could pay big dividends this season.
Lloyd brings an explosive, deep-ball element to New England’s already high-powered offense. He joins tight end Aaron Hernandez as the Patriots’ vertical threats, while receiver Wes Welker and tight end Rob Gronkowski do most of their damage underneath and in the middle of the field.
Can Brady and Lloyd be a dangerous passing combo? Brady and Lloyd are putting in the work now in training camp so they will be on the same page by the regular season.
"Well, it’s going to be up to us to decide that," Brady told reporters this week. "It’s going to be the kind of work that we put in. [Lloyd] wants to be a big part of this offense. I obviously want to help him become a big part of this offense, so there’s constant communication between the two of us. There is always communication between the quarterback and the receivers. Without the receivers, there’s no passing game."
The Brady-Lloyd connection has the makings of being everything the Brady-Chad Johnson duo was not.
Lloyd, like Johnson, is an athletic receiver. But Lloyd is faster, younger and able to get behind the defense more consistently. Johnson also had issues grasping the playbook. Lloyd played under Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and knows New England’s offense very well.
Brady has an array of weapons to throw to, so don’t expect Lloyd to had 80 catches this year. But Lloyd could be a fantasy sleeper due to the potential with Brady for big plays and touchdowns. Owners should keep Lloyd in mind if he’s still available in the later rounds.