BOSTON (CBS) — Since things didn’t work out for Kony Ealy with the Patriots, the defensive end is heading about 200 miles south to the Meadowlands.
The Jets announced via Twitter on Sunday that they have claimed Ealy off waivers. The Patriots previously traded their second-round pick for Ealy and the Panthers’ third-round pick back in March.
But after a bizarre summer in which Ealy missed the first day of training camp and was inconsistent at best throughout the preseason, it was clear his days in New England were in question.
The Patriots reportedly attempted to trade Ealy to get some kind of compensation for the defensive end’s five-month stint in New England. But after coming up empty in that regard, the Pats decided it was best to simply part ways.
The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, seeing as the Patriots were already thin along the defensive line. The team recently lost Rob Ninkovich to retirement and rookie Derek Rivers to a season-ending ACL injury. With Trey Flowers leading the way, the Patriots will most likely rely on Lawrence Guy, Deatrich Wise, Geneo Grissom, and others to pick up the slack. Grissom was rumored to be on the bubble at the beginning of camp, but would be a surprise cut at this point.
Defensive captain Dont’a Hightower has also been practicing pass-rush moves in practice, and figures to be a part of the Patriots’ edge rushing schemes this season.
Additionally, The Patriots have three new players (Mikey Bart, Nick Usher and Christian Kunitz) at practice today spending time with linebackers and defensive ends, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
As far as the Jets’ plans go, they may be just trying to get information from Ealy on the Patriots’ schemes – although it’s unclear how much Ealy will help them in that department.