Signings by the numbers

In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, Jeremy Lundblad of ESPN's Stats & Information looks at some of the Patriots' free-agent moves through the lens of statistics.

Some highlights:

1. Brandon Lloyd and the deep ball. "Over the past two seasons, Lloyd leads the NFL in targets (73) and receptions (27) on throws over 20 yards. Over that same span, Patriots wide receivers combined for 62 targets and 21 receptions."

2. Donte Stallworth and the third receiver. "In 2007, Stallworth was a key weapon in New England's historic passing attack. His 46 receptions ranked fourth on the team, and third among wide receivers. Since Stallworth left, the Patriots haven't found a consistent third receiver. ... [In 2011], Chad Ochocinco (15), Julian Edelman (four), Tiquan Underwood (three) and Matthew Slater (one) combined for exactly half of Stallworh's total in 2007."

3. Anthony Gonzalez and the fourth receiver. "Could Gonzalez replace Julian Edelman as the fourth receiver? That starts with understanding just how little Edelman did on the offensive end. Consider that Edelman ran 62 pass routes last season, but was targeted only eight times."

4. Daniel Fells and pass-blocking. "His 128 pass-blocking snaps [in 2011] were the third most of any tight end. In fact, he was a pass blocker more than all Patriots tight ends combined last season. As a team, the Patriots had tight ends stay in to pass block on just 120 snaps in 2012. Of those, Aaron Hernandez had only 11 snaps as a pass blocker, while Rob Gronkowski accounted for 73."

To read the piece, CLICK HERE.