Is Lloyd's Patriotic bent hurting him?

704414.jpg

Is Lloyd's Patriotic bent hurting him?

Maybe Brandon Lloyd was a little too open about his preferred employer in 2012. If Lloyd wants to be a Patriot and the Patriots would like him to be a Patriot, why should any other team buy him a plane ticket and spend a day introducing him around the facility? That's the prevailing reasoning among the NFL people I've spoken to when I asked why all's been quiet on the Brandon Lloyd front. He didn't appear to be keeping his options open. With the initial burst of free agency subsiding and all the best wideouts on the market having settled at new addresses, Lloyd remains on the market. He did visit the San Francisco 49ers but sources close to the team there speculate that was a favor done for agent Tom Condon. The Niners host Lloyd, show the rest of the league - and specifically the Patriots - that Lloyd has a market and, somewhere down the road, Condon makes business easier for the Niners on some future deal. Happens a lot. But back to Lloyd. This week has been all about wide receivers. Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne, Josh Morgan and Laurent Robinson have all signed somewhere. Garcon - who hasn't had a season remotely as productive as Lloyd - got a five-year, 42 million deal from the Redskins. And Lloyd hasn't had a reported sniff except from the Niners. The level of contact between the Patriots and Lloyd is unknown. What is known is the affinity of offensive Josh McDaniels for Lloyd and the receiver's belief that McDaniels is the man he wants to play for. A week ago, Lloyd told me he was "very interested in hearing the Patriots pitch."Are the Patriots still standing on the mound looking in for the sign or have they delivered their pitch and LloydCondon judged it too low.

The dynamic that now exists is that Lloyd could (and this is speculation because I haven't had contact with him) become indignant over having been stood up. And given the history between Condon and the Patriots, the agent will not be bending over backward to make sure he facilitates a team-friendly deal when the rest of the league is stuffing millions in the waistbands of middling wideouts. The Patriots will use leverage to their benefit. And if they don't have it, they may try to create it (Danny Amendola?). Lloyd gave the Patriots all the leverage they needed by making it very clear he wanted to play in New England. In the end, the Patriots' offense will be better with Lloyd in it. They have the belly to wait things out. We'll see if Brandon Lloyd has the patience.

Report: Celtics express deep trade interest in P.J. Tucker

Report: Celtics express deep trade interest in P.J. Tucker

The Boston Celtics are lining up a consolation prize in the event they are unable to land Bulls guard Jimmy Butler

The Celtics are deeply interested in Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker, according to Sporting News' Sean Deveney. In 57 games this season, the 31-year-old has averaged seven points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 assists. The 6-foot-6, 245-pounder has played in Pheonix for five seasons. In the year before that, he spent his rookie season with the Toronto Raptors.

Tucker would join a group of shooting forwards in Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown and Gerald Green.

The addition of Tucker isn't nearly as significant as Butler, but that may be just why the Celtics are interested. Deveney explained Tucker's "amicable" attitude and experience could be a nice fit in the Celtics' already cohesive locker room. Butler is a big splash acquisition that may make a big splash in the locker room, and he would require adjustments from Isaiah Thomas.

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland knows he's likely the only new player in Boston's lineup since David Ortiz retired at the end of last season.

He's just not listening to those who say he needs to replace Big Papi's lofty production.

"I try not to hear it because there's no replacing that guy," said the 31-year-old first baseman, who signed a one-year, $5.5-million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason.

"I think it's going to be more of a team effort," he said. "Obviously we picked up two big arms as well, and it's a very balanced club."

After playing his first six-plus seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers, Moreland is with a new organization for the first time in his career. So far, he said, the move has been smooth.

"They welcomed me from Day One," he said. "Handshakes and hugs right off the bat. It's going to be a lot of fun. You can see why they had so much success last year."

Coming off a subpar 2016 with a .233 batting average, 22 homers and 60 RBI, Moreland tested free agency. He wanted to go to a team that had a good chance at competing for a championship -- like he felt with the Rangers.

"Something that was at the top of my list as a player," he said. "If I was going to be on a team, I wanted a team that had a chance to win. It makes it that much more fun to come to the park every day when something's on the line and you're fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs, fighting to win the division and fighting to win a World Series."

A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, Moreland knows the defending A.L. East champion Red Sox wanted his defensive skills at first to allow Hanley Ramirez to shift to Ortiz's vacated DH spot.

"It gives you a little more confidence," Moreland said. "I take pride in that. That's going to be my main goal, to go out and show what they saw."

A left-handed batter like Ortiz, Moreland knows some people will expect him to fill the void offensively because of which side of the plate he bats from.

"I think it'll be a group effort picking up what will be missing," he said. "There's no replacing that guy."

Manager John Farrell also said the club needs to move on from Ortiz so Moreland and everyone else can relax and focus on their own game.

"David's effect on the lineup was felt by a number of people. We know opponents would game plan for David," Farrell said. "I think it's important for our guys - as we put David out of our mind, in a good way - that it's still a focus on what their strengths are in the strike zone."

The transition may be easy for Moreland so far, but one thing has certainly changed: spending spring training in Florida instead of Arizona.

"Fishing's a lot different than Arizona, so that's nice," he said.

NOTES: "We're getting a firsthand look to why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher," Farrell said after left-hander Chris Sale pitched batting practice. The Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for four prospects. They also acquired right-handed, hard-throwing setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee . . . Farrell said righty Steven Wright, who missed the final two months of the season with a shoulder injury, "was unrestricted in his throwing." . . . The Red Sox will have a shorter workout Tuesday with the players association set to talk to the team and the organization's annual charity golf tournament in the afternoon.