Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn't going to win any rushing titles before he retires, but his dependability figures to make him a desirable free agent when the new league year begins Tuesday at 4 p.m.There has been "dialogue" between Green-Ellis' camp and the Patriots but an agreeable offer for the fifth-year running back out of Ole Miss hasn't emerged. A source indicated that Green-Ellis would be a "coveted" prospect when he does hit the market. After running for 1,008 yards in 2010 and getting 4.4 yards per carry, Green-Ellis' numbers dropped considerably in 2011 with 667 yards on 181 carries (3.7 YPA). One thing that hasn't dropped? The ball when Green-Ellis is carrying it. He's never fumbled in his NFL career. He's also scored 24 touchdowns in the past two seasons. Green-Ellis' hands as a receiver are pretty average and his blitz-pickup is good. The main attributes are durability, consistency and ball security. The kinds of things you don't miss until they're gone. Green-Ellis turns 27 in July. He's made the most of his career after being undrafted. Given the Patriots have gotten excellent running game production from overlooked players like Green-Ellis, they may be reluctant to get in a bidding war for a player who is good but not irreplaceable.
In the Rajon Rondo trade, Jae Crowder was considered a throw-in to make the money work. During the Celtics' playoff push, the big man has been indispensable.