Lloyd is set to make a $3 million roster bonus this weekend, and the expectation has been that the club will not pick it up.
Lloyd was scheduled to earn a base salary of $1.9 million in 2013 and would have a salary-cap charge of $4.9 million. The Patriots have apparently determined that's too rich for their liking but would be open to retaining Lloyd at a lower cost.
The question becomes whether the team and agent Tom Condon can find a number that works for both of them.
One of the team's starting receivers in 2012, Lloyd played in 84.8 percent of the offensive snaps and finished with 74 receptions for 911 yards and four touchdowns.
It's already been a wild week for the Patriots, who watched star receiver Wes Welker sign with the Denver Broncos. The Patriots moved quickly to replace the perennial Pro Bowler, agreeing to a deal with Danny Amendola.