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“"I went through a lot of stuff, and the first thing you understand as a football player is that nobody plays 100 percent. There is no such thing," said Green, who has appeared in 136 of a possible 143 games during his career (including playoffs) and rates the Patriots' win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII as his top memory. "But can I say that I ever felt like I was in my time? Here and there. After I came back from my knee surgery during the season, I felt pretty good for two to three games, but I still had my complications, the aftershocks of all my surgeries. So it feels good to have a full offseason obligated to healing up, getting back. I feel very blessed to walk away this year with no injuries." Green, who joined the team as a fourth-round draft choice in 2002 out of Louisiana State, won't require any surgery this offseason. He said his focus at this time is to get as much rest as possible, stay in shape and be mentally prepared for all possibilities that his agent, Albert Elias, presents to him during the free-agent process. If Green doesn't return to New England, the Patriots will have to determine whether Mike Wright, who will enter his sixth season, can be a viable full-time replacement. Assuming the Patriots remain committed to the 3-4 alignment, a longer-shot possibility would be 2009 second-round draft choice Ron Brace, although he will have to show considerable improvement from his rookie campaign, when he failed to earn any significant playing time. The uncertainty along the line could make that a priority for the Patriots in the draft and possibly free agency. As for Green, he is embracing his current uncertainty while continuing to be one of the Patriots' most philanthropic players through his Jarvis Green Foundation. On Friday, he hosted a dinner event at Ardeo at Waterplace in Providence, and plans are in the works for a fashion show in conjunction with his friend Leo Foussekis and his company, Black Tie Marketing and Entertainment. "The Jarvis Green Foundation raises money for disadvantaged single, working mothers, those who really need it," Green said. "We're sending money to them, paying rent, putting food on the table and clothes on their back. That's very important to me, and it touches me personally with things that went on in my past [particularly the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina] in my home state of Louisiana."
Definitely this year, I'm going to experience the market. I think for any player in their NFL career they need to experience that, and this will be my first time. I had the chance five years ago but I re-signed with the team, so this has been different for me, and it's been cool not being obligated to anyone but my family, my wife and kids.” -- Patriots DE Jarvis Green
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPN Boston. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.