Green gets 4-year deal with Denver

Former Patriots defensive lineman Jarvis Green signed a four-year contract with Denver Tuesday, the Broncos confirmed Tuesday.

The deal is worth up to $20 million, and will pay Green $7 million over the first two years between bonuses and base salaries, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Green, 31, who spent the last eight seasons with the Patriots, was the team's starter at right defensive end in 2009. But he was most effective over his career as an interior sub rusher, with 28 career regular-season sacks.

"It's unfortunate in this business you can't keep everyone you want to keep," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said on Tuesday in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI.

Green's contract with Denver highlights a significant void the Patriots must fill at right defensive end. While Green isn't best suited to be a 16-game starter at that spot, he has been a valuable reserve who was effective when called upon to start in stretches.

Green will join several familiar faces in Denver, including coach Josh McDaniels, wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, long-snapper Lonie Paxton and offensive lineman Russ Hochstein.

The Patriots, meanwhile, lose a solid professional and a quality locker room presence. He also did impressive charity work in the community, so that is a big off-the-field void that will be felt.

From a pure football perspective, Green seemed to show he was best suited as a "super sub" in 2009, and not a full-time starter at right defensive end in the 3-4 alignment. Green had been effective over his career as a fill-in starter -- a solid option when looking to get through a stretch of games -- but he seemed to wear down at times in the full-time role (injury might have been a factor). He was pulled out of the playoff loss to the Ravens at one point because that was an area in which the Patriots were having some struggles against the run.

The Broncos also agreed to a three-year deal with former San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Jamal Williams, a league source told Schefter. A source said the deal was for three years and worth $16 million ($7 million guaranteed).

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPN Boston. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.