Earlier this offseason, the Patriots traded down from pick 64 to 72 in order to acquire then Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy. At the time, many including myself figured this to be a steal for the Patriots as Ealy is a talented young player. Ealy is most known for his stellar performance in Super Bowl 50, however he didn’t turn it into a successful 2016 campaign with only 5 starts and 5 sacks.
The Patriots couldn’t turn him into the guy they wanted him to be, so after gauging what was likely a paltry trade market they released Ealy. Multiple teams put in waiver claims for the defensive end, the Lions, Cowboys, Buccaneers, Giants, Redskins, and Cardnials, but Ealy was awarded to the Jets based off of their waiver priority. Losing has its privileges folks.
The Jets add Ealy to what is their only position group that is above league average. At this point teams are valuing Ealy as a rotational guy with upside, and in New York he can be just that. He doesn’t have to start, he can just come in on select plays and hopefully provide some pass-rush on downs where some of the starters need a breather.
Ultimately, it seems that Ealy has lost an opportunity to win a Super Bowl and will end up being a part of the Jets dumpster-fire of a season.