Green-Ellis contract in focus

March, 23, 2012
3/23/12
9:10
PM ET
One of the more prevalent questions among followers since BenJarvus Green-Ellis signed with the Bengals on Wednesday was the financial details of his pact.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a league source, reports some of the details.

The key numbers: It's a deal with a base value of $9 million over three years. Florio notes that Green-Ellis will get $4 million in the first year and he can make another $1.6 million via mostly reasonable triggers.

As Florio notes, it's one of the better deals for a veteran running back in free agency, but still speaks to the light market for players at the position.

The Patriots had talks with Green-Ellis entering free agency, expressing an interest in his return, but they apparently weren't willing to offer a contract at that level.

From this perspective, the numbers are lower than anticipated. The conclusion drawn from here is that the team must want to turn the position over to its two young backs from the 2011 draft -- Shane Vereen (2nd round) and Stevan Ridley (3rd round) -- because $3 million per year for Green-Ellis seems reasonable.

YOUR TURN: Given the $3 million per year price tag, would you have kept Green-Ellis?

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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