Story: Can't keep 'em all

In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, Mike Reiss writes on the free-agent defections of running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and defensive end Mark Anderson.

The instant analysis: Can't keep 'em all. If this is the worst thing that happens to the Patriots this offseason, the team is going to be just fine.

That's not to say the personnel losses won't have an impact; it's just the way the business works. Can't blame Green-Ellis and Anderson for looking to maximize their earnings given how short their playing careers are, and it's hard to fault the Patriots for adhering to a team-building, value-driven philosophy that has produced a lot of wins over the past 12 years.

In both cases, the Patriots set a value that they were comfortable. In both cases, the player felt he might be worth more on the open market.

The market spoke and the players turned out to be right. So at that point, from the Patriots' perspective, there's nothing for Bill Belichick to do other than thank both players for their service, wish them luck, and activate contingency plans.

To read the piece, CLICK HERE.