Wide receiver Lloyd officially joins Patriots

Posted March 20, 2012, at 7:37 p.m.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots announced the signing of free agent receiver Brandon Lloyd on Tuesday.

Lloyd, 30, is a nine-year veteran and came to terms with the team last week. He has played in 112 games, catching 311 passes for 4,784 yards and 31 touchdowns. His best season was in 2010 with Denver when he made the Pro Bowl after leading the NFL with 1,448 yards receiving.

The Patriots also re-signed offensive lineman Dan Connolly, and announced two more free-agent deals, with defensive end Jonathan Fanene and tight end Daniel Fells.

Lloyd joins a new-look receiving corps in New England. On Saturday, the Patriots signed former Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, and on Monday, they added Donte’ Stallworth, who spent one season in New England in 2007 when the team went 18-0 before losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.

Stallworth had 46 catches during that regular season with the Patriots. He had 17 receptions with Cleveland in 2008, two with Baltimore in 2010 and 22 with Washington last year. He was suspended for the 2009 season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the league’s personal conduct policy for a DUI vehicular manslaughter charge.

The receiver signings could spell the end of Chad Ochocinco’s career with the team. He signed a two-year contract before last season but struggled trying to learn the offense and finished with 15 catches in 15 regular-season games.

For Lloyd, this is just another stop in a journeyman career. He has also played for the 49ers, Redskins, Bears and Rams, and was traded by Denver to St. Louis during last season. He caught 51 passes for 683 yards and five touchdowns for the Rams.

Connolly, 29, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons, and has been with the Patriots since 2007. While with New England, he has started at both guard and center. Last season, Connolly played in 13 regular-season games with 11 starts at center. He also started at center in all three postseason games.

Connolly is in the history books, too. He set an NFL record for the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman with a 71-yarder against Green Bay on Dec. 19, 2010.

Fanene, 30, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons, all with Cincinnati, and Fells, 28, has played for Atlanta (2006), St. Louis (2008-10) and Denver (2011) in a five-year career.

New England also released linebacker Christian Cox.

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