Bill, Floyd, Nick -- whoever is in charge ofpokingnumbers into their cell and opening up free agent conversations -- Tom says it's your move. You want to make Brandon Lloyd a happy man? Want to make an already explosive offense even more dangerous with a bona-fide outside threat?Want to add the complement to Gronknandez and Welker that Chad Ochocinco couldn't be for the 6 million you paid him in 2011? Want to make sure that the coach-quarterback combo gets to either New Orleans or northern New Jersey in the next two Februarys and cements their legacy as the most accomplished in NFL history? Step one is making the call. Because Tom Condon says he will stand down. The superagent that you got pissed off at in 2004 when he refused to do a six-year rookie deal for Benjamin Watson -- the one agent powerful enough to say, "Screw the Patriots, I ain't dealing with them . . ." has a client who wants to be here and that you need. And Condon says he'll do what's in his client's best interests. He spoke to the Boston Herald. Ego checked, Patriots. Your turn. After a couple of days dodging phone calls, Condon -- leader of the football arm of CAA and agent for many of the NFL's luminaries like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees- said that his client Brandon Lloyd would "like to be with Josh (McDaniels)."Hearkening back to the 2004 negotiations (here's a look at the situation I did for the ProJo back in August of that year), Condon added, I may never like them and they may never like me, but I appreciate that theyre smart guys who usually get what they want. I usually get what I want, too, and what I want is what my client wants. If Bill Belichick finds it too distasteful, he can let Floyd Reese make the call. Or Nick Caserio might be the guy. Hell, Jonathan or Robert Kraft can ease the process if necessary. Go along to get along and all that. But here's the simple truth. Wide receiver has been the New England Patriots blind spot more than any other position. In 2006, the Patriots cut off their nose to spite their face, traded Tom Brady's most reliable target to Seattle rather than keep Deion Branch happy and they paid the price. With Reche Caldwell, Doug Gabriel and Watson as the main targets, that team was moments from a Super Bowl appearance. Add Branch? Add a ring. They've swung and missed on Chad Jackson, Taylor Price and Brandon Tate in the draft; flailed and failed at Ocho and Joey Galloway, etc. They hit on Randy Moss and Wes Welker but both guys were pulled out of the bargain bin. It's time to ante up for a legit wideout. In Lloyd you have a talented player in his prime ready to work for an offensive coordinator who can vouch for him. The impediments to a deal are falling away. Free agency begins in less than a month. How the mercurial Lloyd would fit in the Patriots locker room, how much the wideout -- who's never had a "cash in" deal -- may want when he actually sits down and thinks about it . . . those are questions that need answering. But Condon says he won't get in the way of business being done. The gloves are off. Let the Lloyd love in.
Lou Merloni, Trenni Kusnierek and John Farrell talk about life without David Ortiz.
The Washington Capitals remain on top, but it's time to recognize the Red Wings' 25-year playoff streak that will come to an end this spring.