Kony Ealy Claimed on Waivers by Jets After Patriots Release

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:  Kony Ealy #94 of the Carolina Panthers against the Minnesota Vikings during the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Vikings won 22-10.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Kony Ealy will wear his third jersey in the last few months after the New York Jets announced they had claimed him off waivers Sunday. ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news.

The Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, and Arizona Cardinals also put in a claim for Ealy, but he went to the Jets since they had waiver priority, per Jane Slater of NFL Network.

The defensive end was traded from the Carolina Panthers to the New England Patriots prior to the draft in March, but he struggled to find a fit with his new team and was released.

While there is hesitation about expecting much from a player who couldn't make another team's roster, it seems talent wasn't necessarily the problem. Mike Reiss of ESPN reported early in August that "something hasn't seemed to click with Ealy and the Patriots."

The end was reportedly working with backups during training camp and was surprisingly put on the trade block by the middle of the preseason, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. The Patriots gave up on him soon after, releasing him due to his inability to fit the scheme, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com.

Although things didn't work out with the Patriots, Ealy has the potential to be an impact player for the Jets.

He played 47 of 48 possible regular-season games for the Panthers after entering the league in 2014, tallying 14 sacks in that stretch. He saved the best performance of his career for Super Bowl 50, finishing with three sacks and an interception in the loss to the Denver Broncos.

If he can replicate that type of effort for his new team, the signing could be a steal.

Considering he is just 25 years old, Ealy still has the chance to have a bright career.