Bill Belichick operates the Patriots like he is dealing with replaceable and interchangeable parts except at quarterback, where Tom Brady is one of the all-time greats.

But Belichick is testing his quarterback’s greatness and perhaps his loyalty now that he disrespected Brady’s 100-catch-a-year slot receiver/security blanket Wes Welker and allowed him to sign with Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

While Brady has to be upset with the move, it provided the only good news the depleted Jets have had since the free agent market opened on Tuesday.

Belichick also managed to help the Giants as well, by filling his WR need without trying to steal Victor Cruz away from Big Blue.

But the stunning part of the developments for Patriots Nation is that Welker signed a reasonably priced two-year, $12 million contract. New England offered a two-year, $10 million deal, yet gave Danny Amendola, a poor man’s Welker who seems to be hurt every year, a five-year, $31 million deal — with $10 million guaranteed — to take his place.