Patriots lose Green-Ellis, Anderson

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / March 22, 2012
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The Patriots have been bulking up since the start of free agency.

On Wednesday, they added one player but lost two more who had starting roles in their run to the Super Bowl.

Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis left for the Bengals and defensive end Mark Anderson joined the beefed-up Bills, who recently signed star defensive end Mario Williams.

The Patriots also signed defensive back Will Allen, who was released by the Dolphins.

Green-Ellis signed a three-year deal, and Anderson got a four-year contract.

An undrafted rookie out of Ole Miss in 2008, Green-Ellis worked his way from practice squad to contributor to starter, becoming the first Patriot since Corey Dillon to record a 1,000-yard season when he totaled 1,008 in 2010.

Last season, Green-Ellis was again New England’s leading rusher, though the rise of rookie back Stevan Ridley and the pass-heavy offense reduced his carries to 181. Green-Ellis had 667 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has 24 regular-season TDs the last two years.

Green-Ellis finishes his Patriots career with 547 carries and zero fumbles.

Though Ridley, Danny Woodhead, and Shane Vereen remain on New England’s roster, a league source said Wednesday the team likely will pursue a free agent back.

ESPN reported that Anderson’s deal with Buffalo is for $27.5 million with $8 million guaranteed.

He came to the Patriots last year looking to reclaim a once-promising career as a pass rusher, and collected 10 sacks in a part-time role. Anderson garnered quite a bit of attention on the open market, visiting the Dolphins and Ravens before Buffalo.

Allen is the 10th free agent the Patriots have signed.

The 33-year old was the Giants’ first-round draft pick in 2001 after a standout career at Syracuse. He was with New York through 2005 before signing with Miami, where he played through last season.

The 5-foot-10-inch, 195-pound Allen tore his ACL midway through the 2009 season and also missed the 2010 season.

Miami cut Allen last September, only to re-sign him less than two weeks later.

Allen played in 15 games as the Dolphins’ nickel corner, with six starts. He had 43 tackles and three pass break-ups.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Allen’s deal is for one year at the minimum $975,000, plus a $25,000 signing bonus, and $25,000 workout bonus.

Tom Brady agreed to a restructuring of his contract recently, a league source confirmed Wednesday night. He saved New England $7.2 million against the salary cap for the coming season, but his cap number in 2013 and 2014 will be higher.

Under the original terms of the four-year extension he signed in 2010, which went into effect last season, Brady’s base salary for 2012 was to be $5.75 million. Now, according to NFL Players’ Association documents, his base salary will be $950,000. The remaining $4.8 million was combined with the $6 million roster bonus Brady was to earn Feb. 15, 2013 and the $10.8 million total became a signing bonus that will be prorated over the final two years of the deal.

Brady was initially set to count $18.2 million against the salary cap in 2013 and ’14, and that number will now increase to $21.8 million in each of those years.

Brandon Lloyd’s agent, Tom Condon, affirmed that Josh McDaniels’s presence played a large role in the receiver signing with the Patriots.

“He had some other teams in there, especially San Francisco was going hard on him and the Josh factor was really big for him,’’ said Condon, a Boston College alum who was at the Eagles’ pro day Wednesday. “He’s an explosive player and he’s an enormously talented guy, very bright, great personality, he should fit in very well and I’m sure they’ll utilize him a great deal.’’

Though Lloyd had his share of problems earlier in his career, Condon emphasized that he had none with McDaniels in either Denver or St. Louis.

Condon also said there is no “cold war’’ between he and Bill Belichick - Lloyd’s contract was the first time they’d done business in eight years, since Condon did not want then-client Benjamin Watson to sign the six-year rookie contract the team offered. Condon wanted a five-year contract.

Watson wound up switching agents and signing for six years. Condon noted his partners represent current Patriots.

Greg A. Bedard of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Shalise Manza Young can be reached at

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