According to Adam Schefter, the New England Patriots have acquired Kony Ealy from the Carolina Panthers. The Missouri product made a name for himself in Super Bowl 50 when he sacked then Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning three times.
Ealy, 25, was a second-round pick of the Panthers back in 2014.
Ealy posted 14 sacks and forced six fumbles since being drafted by the Panthers. But an eight-spot slide in the draft and a base salary of $803,660 is a minimal cost to the Patriots, even if that turns out to be the case. He recorded four sacks as a rookie and has recorded five sacks in each of the past two seasons.
Starter Rob Ninkovich enters the final year of his contract in 2017, and having just turned 33 on February 1, he's obviously closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Ealy immediately improves their depth and we look for the Patriots to add another edge rusher during the upcoming draft where the stock is deep.
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Sure they are barely in the red here, but this is a win-win type move that could have monster dividends for the Patriots, and it allows Carolina to get a little draft capital out of a guy who wasn't slated to play a big role this year.
Coming into the offseason, the Patriots had a lot of question marks due to how many free agents they had.
The Panthers still have a third-round selection, acquiring a compensatory pick for losing cornerback Josh Norman in free agency a year ago.
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