Trying to determine where young men will be employed and paid obscene amounts of non-guaranteed money to play football in a few weeks is one of the most entertaining, yet still utterly arbitrary games we play every offseason. It’s almost as entertaining as another quite arbitrary game in which we decide whose draft stock will plummet due to imaginary red character flags.

This year there are two free agency dots connected by the straightest line imaginable. There isn’t even a slight deviation in this line, because the relationship between the player and his possible future home is so blatantly obvious.

Here’s the easy equation: Brandon Lloyd flourished under Josh McDaniels in Denver after being a disappointment over the previous seven years of his career, and he was again successful in St. Louis this year with McDaniels there as an offensive coordinator. McDaniels now has that role in New England, and the Patriots need a deep threat to complement their two stud tight ends after Chad Ochocinco failed miserably in his attempt to fill that void. Therefore, Lloyd could be a Patriot very soon when he becomes a free agent on March 13..

Lloyd has been very open about his desire to reunite with McDaniels, and he gushed about him again yesterday during an appearance on PFT Live:

“Yes, I find that very interesting. I would like to entertain that and see where that goes. There’s no bones about that. I’ve been very successful in Josh McDaniels’ offense, I really admire Tom Brady, I admire that organization and how they run things over there, so I’d definitely be interested in hearing how I could possibly fit into that equation.”

Lloyd’s free agency fate is still in the Rams’ hands for now since there’s a chance they could choose to use the franchise tag and retain a player who they view as key to Sam Bradford’s development.

At 30 years old Lloyd is approaching an age where we may see a slight decline, but barring a major injury he should still easily have a handful of highly productive years left. Also, if St. Louis commits to an elite wide receiver early in the draft (hi, Justin Blackmon), then there’s an even greater need to spend on Lloyd so he can form an effective deep tandem with the new arrival.

But if that scenario doesn’t play out, the other very obvious scenario will, and it’ll likely mean the end of Ochocinco’s career, and another title shot for Brady and Bill Belichick.

And the rest…

  • Robert Griffin III is excited to “wow” teams this week during the Scouting Combine, but he won’t be doing it while throwing a football. That’ll wait until Baylor’s Pro Day. [The Phinsider]
  • Michael Silver reviews the growth of #Tebowtime, Tebowmania, and all things Tebow during the 2011 season, and tries to grasp the phenomenon through a series of interviews. [GQ]
  • And more Tebow, because you always need more Tebow. The Broncos are expected to acquire two new quarterbacks sometime this offseason, but Tebow will remain in the starting role. [Denver Post]
  • Derek Hagan is an option for the Bills at wide receiver. [Buffalo Rumblings]
  • Has Eli Manning’s play in clutch situations truly been exceptional, or is that a misconception rooted in two amazing drives and throws that won Super Bowls? [Colts Authority]
  • Wes Welker tops a list ranking the 10 most overrated NFL players. [Walter Football]
  • Ron Jaworski thinks that Peyton Manning going to the Jets and creating the ultimate New York turf war against his brother is a terrific idea. [The Jets Blog]
  • So if Gisele Bundchen and Wes Welker are on a beach together during a group vacation in Costa Rica, does she trust her husband’s wide receiver to catch a beach ball? [x17]