The Patriots’ search for an outside receiver continues.

Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd was released yesterday before the Patriots had to pay him a $3 million option bonus. The Pats wanted him to restructure his contract to stick around for another season, but Lloyd wasn’t willing to meet their demands, according to a source.

Lloyd signed a three-year, $12 million contract last year, and the contract was structured to make this transaction a possibility from the start. The Patriots will have $2 million in dead money this season because of the prorated value that remained on his $3 million signing bonus, which is standard for NFL contracts. However, the contract was team-friendly, and the release saved money, a factor that was more important than anything else.

Lloyd was the Pats’ big offensive acquisition for the 2012 season after he thrived under Josh McDaniels with the Broncos and Rams. He caught 74 passes for 911 yards and four touchdowns, which was the second-most productive season of his 10-year career.