Patriots Apparently Do Want Green-Ellis Back

Ian Logue
March 13, 2012 at 06:26pm ET

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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.