Here are some notes from ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss regarding some of the Patriots offseason decisions.
According to Reiss, WR Brandon Lloyd isn’t a “lock” to be back in New England next season.
Lloyd, 31, is set to make $1.9 million next season along with a $3 million club option. Signing Lloyd was supposed to give them the vertical threat that they’ve been without since they parted ways with Randy Moss, but that wasn’t the case.
Lloyd did, however, finish the year with 74 receptions, 911 yards receiving and four touchdowns.
Still, reports from earlier in the week mentioned that there’s a good chance that the Patriots will look to overhaul their receiving corp in the coming months. We’ll have to see if that includes Lloyd amongst others.
Reiss believes OT Sebastian Vollmer is a “top priority” for the Patriots this offseason.
Vollmer, 28, is set to be an unrestricted free agent in the next few months and figures to be a candidate for the team’s franchise tag. The tag for offensive tackles will run NFL teams $9.66 million in 2013, but the Patriots have cap space to work with there’s no question that Vollmer is important to their offensive line.
We have Vollmer listed as the No. 8 best available player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.
Reiss mentions that WR Julian Edelman could be brought back next season on a one-year deal.
Edelman, 26, was out for the season after he suffered a broken foot this year. With Wes Welker likely to be playing elsewhere in 2013, Edelman could be someone that they work to get signed early on in free agency. He’s unlikely to command a large deal as well as the fact that he’s familiar with the Patriots offensive system and Welker’s role in particular should help his chances of being back in New England.
We have him listed as the No. 99 best available player in our Top 100 Free Agents list.
Reiss mentions that the Patriots would trade Ryan Mallett “in a heartbeat” if someone offered them a second-round pick.
Reiss ads that he would be surprised if any team was willing to part with such a high draft pick in return for Mallett.
There’s been speculation that the Browns could contact the Pats regarding Mallett given that new Browns VP of Player Personnel Mike Lombardi is known to be high on Mallett.
The Patriots re-signed restricted free agent LB Dane Fletcher to a one-year contract on Thursday, via ESPN Boston.
Fletcher missed the entire 2012 season after he suffered torn ACL. However, Fletcher is reportedly recovering well and figures to be a part of New England’s special teams unit next season.