Patriots Acquire DE Kony Ealy & 3rd Rounder From Panthers For 2nd Round Pick
The New England Patriots have done it again.
After a big day yesterday, on the opening of the league’s free agency period, the Pats have worked their magic to make another move to strengthen the team’s defense.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Pats have acquired edge pass rusher Kony Ealy and a third round pick from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a second round pick.
Carolina trading DE Kony Ealy and a third-round pick to Patriots in exchange for New England’s second-round pick, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2017
Ealy, who hasn’t hit his full potential for a full season yet, has shown signs of dominance off the edge for Carolina. In fact, the 2014 second rounder was dominant in the Panthers’ Super Bowl 50 loss a couple of seasons ago.
Patriots fans might remember Ealy because he had the game of his life in Super Bowl 50. Three sacks, a pick and a forced fumble in 23 snaps.
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) March 10, 2017
Over his first three seasons in the league, Ealy has totaled 72 tackles, 14 sacks and six forced fumbles, proving to be a force at times against the pass.
With veteran Chris Long confirming that he will not be back next season and no certainty that the team will retain Jabaal Sheard, Ealy will likely be slated to play a large role in the New England front seven in 2017.
Though he is on the final year of his rookie deal so the Pats only are guaranteed one season of Ealy’s services, giving up their second round pick is not that big of a deal. By also receiving Carolina third rounder in the deal, New England will actually drop back just eight spots in the draft and will likely be able to get the player they want at a cheaper price.
The Patriots dropped 8 spots to fill a major need at DE. Pats knew they’d need to get younger there this offseason. https://t.co/3h7lp00mlA
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 10, 2017
So, in reality, the Pats stepped back eight spots in the draft, but brought in a young, high-ceiling pass rusher to fill a major void along their defensive line.
Seems like another pretty clear win, win, win for Trader Bill and his team.