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Patriots have Lloyd and Landry on their radar

Patriots looking to shore up holes

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / March 17, 2012
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Patriots fans have been frustrated by what’s perceived as a lack of activity by the team since free agency opened Tuesday.

But if New England locks up Brandon Lloyd, a likely starting receiver, and LaRon Landry, a likely starting safety, they’d probably have a much rosier outlook on things.

Well that could happen this weekend.

A league source Friday night said that the 30-year-old Lloyd and the Patriots were “close’’ to coming to a contract agreement. Once it’s finalized, the team could potentially have the outside-the-numbers receiving threat it has been lacking since Randy Moss was traded a quarter of the way into the 2010 season.

Lloyd did numerous interviews before the start of free agency, and in nearly every one he praised the Patriots, saying he was interested in playing for New England and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, his head coach in Denver. Being so open in his desire to play for them likely didn’t help Lloyd’s leverage with the team, though agent Tom Condon tried to create some interest when Lloyd visited with San Francisco Wednesday.

The Patriots are very interested in Landry, who was expected to arrive in Foxborough Friday night.

His physical will go a long way toward deciding whether he gets a contract offer. He’s missed 15 games the past two seasons because of an Achilles’ injury.

At least four other teams, including the Jets, are thought to be interested in Landry.

Lloyd missed most of the 2009 season, his first in Denver, with injuries, but a year later he finally - eight years into his career - delivered on the promise he’d been flashing. He led the league with 1,448 yards on 77 catches, adding 11 touchdowns.

McDaniels was fired toward the end of the 2010 season, but a year later, as the Rams’ offensive coordinator, he acquired Lloyd from Denver during an in-season trade, and he quickly became the best receiver on a roster starving for talent at the position, with 51 catches for 683 yards in 11 games with St. Louis.

Since the Rams were able to get Lloyd for a conditional sixth-round pick, a low price for a player who’d been atop the league in yards a year earlier, plus Lloyd’s stated loyalty to McDaniels, there didn’t promise to be a huge market for him in free agency.

Also on Friday, another veteran receiver revealed that the Patriots had pursued him: on his Facebook page, Reggie Wayne hinted that he chose to return to the Colts over coming to New England, and a league source confirmed that the Patriots had in fact gone after Wayne.

Greg A. Bedard of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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