Here’s a video just posted by Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco of a workout video of he, Pittsburgh Steelers reeceivers Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace, and now former Patriot runningbnack BenJarvus Green-Ellis in an offseason workout.
Archive for March, 2012
Patriots runningback BenJarvus Green-Ellis did the best he could as an undrafted free agent, becoming one of the most reliable runningbacks in football and becoming the first 1,000 yard rusher two seasons ago for the Patriots since Corey Dillon.
Green-Ellis is now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Apparently it wasn’t quite enough, and now he’s moving on to a team that made him believe he’s their guy for the forseeable future and gave him the money to prove it.
According to published reports the veteran runningback agreed to a 3-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday, ending his career in Foxboro. ¬†The agreement marks the end of a tenure that, while not spectacular, was a solid career as a member of the New England Patriots.
Last season was a tough one for Green-Ellis, who was hampered by a toe injury and ended up sharing carries with rookie Stevan Ridley. ¬†He finished the season with 667 yards on 181 carries (3.7 avg) along with 11 touchdowns.
As mentioned in this recent entry, last season was an off year for Green-Ellis both in terms of production and situationally, with the runningback having had more negative carries and no-gain rushes in 2011 than he did in 2010.
Green-Ellis had 13 rushes for a loss in 2011, along with 23 rushes for no gain, 9 of which came in the fourth quarter.
In 2010, Green-Ellis had 12 rushes for a loss, but had just 18 rushes for no gain. That season his quarter of weakness was the 2nd quarter, where he had 9 rushes without picking up a yard. He was more effective closing out games that year, carrying just 4 times in the fourth quarter for a loss that season, along with just 3 for no gain.
That quarter was also his most productive that year, where he carried 73 times for 336 yards (a 4.6avg).
Ridley meanwhile carried 87 times for 441 yards, along with an impressive 5.1 ypc average. ¬†The downside for the rookie was the fact he fumbled twice at the end of the season, and ended up being a healthy scratch in the AFC Championship game, while also not touching the ball during New England’s Super Bowl loss to the Giants.
Obviously the Patriots felt it was time to move in another direction, and in all likelihood the Bengals signed Green-Ellis for more than New England would have likely been willing to give him. ¬†That likely means a larger role for Ridley and also Shane Vereen, who was mostly a spectator during his rookie season.
As for Green-Ellis, he unseats Cedric Benson, who the Bengals themselves appear to be moving away from. ¬†Benson has had his own issues holding onto the football, having had 12 fumbles over the past two seasons.¬†For now he remains unsigned.
If the Bengals were hoping to get someone more sure handed, Green-Ellis is definitely their guy. ¬†Most analysts felt that his reliability and ball security would be something another team would be willing to take a chance on, and now the Bengals will have him in their backfield next season.
Playing behind a Hall of Famer must be a great learning experience, but it appears that quarterback Brian Hoyer may be interested in trying to look for an opportunity to finally apply what he’s learned somewhere else.
Brian Hoyer will reportedly be looking for a starting job over the next month. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
According to NESN’s Jeff Howe, Hoyer will explore his opportunities to become a starting quarterback around the league, citing a source.
The Patriots placed a second round tender on the restricted free agent, which means that should another team elect to sign him, New England would receive a 2nd round pick as compensation.
The former Michigan State product has worked hard during his tenure in New England, showing the right work ethic after being picked up as an undrafted free agent back in 2009. ¬†One interesting note is the fact Howe pointed out that Hoyer grew up a Cleveland Browns fan, which would make him an intriguing possibility to help get that franchise heading back in the right direction.
That is if, of course, they’re interested enough to give up a second round pick for him.
For now according to Howe he’ll be able to start fielding contract offers from other teams from March 17-April 21st, and if nothing else it’s a chance to make an impression on another team that could potentially show interest in him once he hits the open market next year.
It’s yet another interesting twist to what has already been quite a first day in the annual frenzy that is the start of free agency.
In the meantime, here’s a video with some game footage of Hoyer from back in 2005 when he was at Michigan State:
Patriots runningback BenJarvus Green-Ellis hit the free agent market this afternoon, but it sounds like he could be back in the fold heading into next season.
Early indications sound like RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis could be back in New England next season. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
According to Yahoo! Sports Jason Cole, two unknown teams have been interested in Green-Ellis, but after early reports indicated there may have not been much interest from New england, the Patriots appear to be making an effort in bringing him back.
Cole reports that we could see a deal in the $3-$4 million per year range for Green-Ellis, although it’s tough to say whether or not that will mean he’ll get it from the Patriots.
Green-Ellis has been reliable carrying the football for New England, having never lost a fumble during his NFL career. ¬†In the 536 times he’s caught or carried the football, he’s never caughed up the football. ¬†That’s an NFL record.
Last season was an off year for Green-Ellis both in terms of production and situationally, with the runningback having had more negative carries and no-gain rushes in 2011 than he did in 2010.
Green-Ellis had 13 rushes for a loss in 2011, along with 23 rushes for no gain, 9 of which came in the fourth quarter.
In 2010, Green-Ellis had 12 rushes for a loss, but had just 18 rushes for no gain. ¬†That season his quarter of weakness was the 2nd quarter, where he had 9 rushes without picking up a yard. ¬†He was more effective closing out games that year, carrying just 4 times in the fourth quarter for a loss that season, along with just 3 for no gain.
That quarter was also his most productive that year, where he carried 73 times for 336 yards (a 4.6avg) .
He rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2010, but after the team drafted Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen before last season, he saw his carries dispersed to the rookie until Ridley fumbled twice in the final weeks of the regular season.
He finished the 2011 regular season with 667 yards on 181 carries, a 3.7avg.
Many believed that the veteran’s reliability could have potentially given him a pretty good market and that he could be on his way out of New England. The good news is they appear to want him back. Now it will likely just depend on how much it will cost and whether or not it makes sense financially to either keep him in the fold, or move on.
Either way it should be an interesting story line to follow in the coming weeks.
The market price for Wes Welker may have gone up after the Redskins gave Pierre Garcon a huge contract. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
There has already been a flurry of free agent activity, but one deal has stood out that could potentially have a negative effect on negotiations with Wes Welker on a long-term contract extension.
Welker, who has already had the franchise tag placed on him by the Patriots, is set to earn $9.4 million as it stands right now heading into next season. ¬†However, by all accounts the two sides have seemed focused on making sure he’s here for much longer than that.
The bad news is, the Redskins appear to have just driven the market up for free agent receivers.
According to published reports Washington gave free agent wideout Pierre Garcon a 5-year contract this afternoon, reportedly worth approximately $42.5 million. ¬†It also includes $21.5 in guaranteed money.
Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe pointed out on Twitter that the deal is bad news for the Patriots, and looking at the production you would have to agree.
Here’s a comparison between the two receivers over the last two seasons:
2011 Pierre Garcon: 70 catches, 947 yards, 6 touchdowns
2011 Wes Welker: ¬†122 catches, 1569 yards, 9 touchdowns
2010 Pierre Garcon: 67 catches, 784 yards, 6 touchdowns
2010 Wes Welker: ¬†86 catches, 848 yards, 7 touchdowns
Garcon is a bit younger than Welker (he’s just 25 years old, while Welker is 30 and will be 31 on May 1st) but it’s not that difficult to see who the better receiver has been over the past couple of seasons.
Needless to say it will be interesting to see what type of an effect this has on Welker’s new deal. But once again Dan Snyder has opened up his checkbook in a big way, and it’s obviously worked out well for the former Colts receiver.
Patriots fans have spent the last month contemplating some potential changes that could occur for their football team heading into next season, and it looks like we’ve already seen a couple of moves that will likely impact the 2012 campaign.
Bill Belichick won’t have to game plan around former Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall next season. Marshall was traded to the Bears on Tuesday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
4pm on Tuesday marked the start of free agency, and so far the biggest move of the afternoon saw Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall get shipped off to Chicago for a couple of draft picks. ¬†According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post Miami will receive two third round picks in exchange for Marshall, one for 2012, and one for 2013, but this move is good news for the Patriots considering Marshall’s effectiveness against them.
Marshall caught 7 balls for 139 yards in the season opener against New England back in September, and 6 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown on Christmas Eve. ¬†The Patriots won both games, but somewhere Bill Belichick is likely feeling pretty good about the fact they won’t be matched up against him twice a season going forward.
Following the news of the trade the speculation began about Miami potentially having moved Marshall due to a ‘personality conflict’ with Peyton Manning, who has been rumored as a possibility to land with the Dolphins. ¬†However according to USA Today writer Jarrett Bell,¬†Brandon Marshall’s agent, Kennard McGuire, reportedly told him “he’d talked with Miami ‘for a while’ about a trade and it had nothing to do with Manning.”
Omar Kelly, the Dolphins beat writer for the Florida Sun Sentinel also feels there’s nothing behind the move relating to Manning, and says the “dots don’t connect.”
One other player the Patriots won’t have to worry about appears to be Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne, who seems set to move on after Manish Mehta reports that he’s scheduled visits with the Seahawks and Jaguars.
Another interesting note for fans hoping to see free agent defensive lineman Mario Williams land in New England, it appears that if it’s not as a Patriot, he could still end up in the AFC East. ¬†Mike Reiss cites a report from Adam Schefter that Williams has agreed to visit the Buffalo Bills, which means that if they’re bringing him in for a visit, they could potentially be serious about signing him.
Meanwhile back here in New England the team has reportedly placed a second round tender on restricted free agent quarterback Brian Hoyer, as well as placing an exclusive rights free agent tender on Kyle Love. ¬†Love had a terrific year defensively with the team last season, and the move kept him from hitting the free agent market.
Jeff Howe of NESN points out that this likely means that a new deal is coming for Love, citing previous deals given to Kyle Arrington last year, and Gary Guyton in 2010.
The Patriots headed into this offseason with a lot of questions, but it appears they’ve at least temporarily answered one of them after placing the franchise tag on veteran receiver Wes Welker Monday afternoon.
The Pats have placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Wes Welker. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
The team issued a release a little while ago announcing the move, which ensures that Welker will be a Patriot for at least next season. It also guarantees him at least $9.4 million for the 2012 season. ¬†One would have to believe that they’ll figure out a way to give him a long-term deal, and if history is any indication fans have reason to be hopeful.
In each of the last two seasons, New England has used the tag to buy more time in contract talks with two important players, and both had happy endings. ¬†Vince Wilfork (2010) and Logan Mankins (2011) were tagged by the Patriots, but the good news was that despite the fact both players initially had issues with the designations,¬†the Patriots eventually worked out extensions with each player.
The release pointed out that “the goal” remains to lock Welker up with a new deal.
“Wes Welker is a remarkable football player for our team and has been a vital component to our offense and special teams since we traded for him in 2007. Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more time to try to reach an agreement, which is the goal. Wes remains a contractual priority and we are hopeful that he will remain a Patriot for years to come.”
One interesting note is the fact that it doesn’t appear that the Patriots want Welker talking to other teams, much like they didn’t with Mankins. With Wilfork he was tendered with a non-exclusive designation, which meant that other teams could have hosted Wilfork on a free-agent visit and potentially sign him to an offer sheet. Had Wilfork received an offer and the Patriots not to matched it, they would have received two first-round draft choices.
According to ESPNBoston.com Welker has spoken to head coach Bill Belichick about the move but no other details are currently available.