EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

March 19, 2012

Sound Pats philosophy: Load the gun

There simply isn't much uproar, coming off a Super Bowl-losing season. Well, maybe just a murmur.

But anyone angered by the New England Patriots' free-agency silence early last week has to be satisfied this morning.

Bill Belichick stockpiled more weapons for Tom Brady's career stretch run — a sound strategy if there ever was one — over the weekend, snagging Indy's Anthony Gonzalez and the well-traveled Brandon Lloyd.

Gonzalez and Lloyd, a pair of proven pass-catchers, join Wes Welker — at least for this year — and tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski as top options for Brady.

Talk about an instant upgrade over Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco for Brady to work with. Both vets could also be back, as Ochocinco remains under contract, but the fact that each would be waging battle for the 4 or 5 receiver spots, instead of the 2 or 3, has to make Brady and most Pats fans ecstatic.

Lloyd's deal is reported by NFL.com to be three years for $12 million, while the oft-injured Gonzalez is much more of a bargain basement-type deal.

Either way, it's help for Brady, who at 35, has had to deal with limited weapons much of the time since 2005.

It's not your money. Fear not about cap space. And remember, the Patriots again have a stockpile of draft picks to build strength in the trenches and find help on an often exploited defense.

Lloyd hadn't even agreed to the deal before at least one Boston football writer dug into his past to find whether or not he was a good person. Remember, New England is the sixth home in Lloyd's 10 pro seasons.

No longer a kid at 30, Lloyd has produced best under one person, Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. The key number is 16 TDs in 27 games. New England has desperately needed an outside guy to score since Randy Moss spiralled his way out of here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Pujols joins 500 club Wall: 'This was a make or break year for me' Klatt's Mock Draft: Top 10 Klatt's Mock Draft: Late 1st round Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch
Boston Sports
Pujols joins 500 club Wall: 'This was a make or break year for me' Klatt's Mock Draft: Top 10 Klatt's Mock Draft: Late 1st round Merloni: Transfer Rule 'ruining the game' Gomes: Ceremony showed healing is ongoing Pedroia: Game-winning play 'kind of a crazy deal' Babcock: 'An exercise in skating up and down the rink' Rask: Chara's become better at screening Miller: Flu 'a scary situation' Florek: 'It's a feeling I've never felt before' Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday