NFL Free Agency: Why the Patriots Need to Sign Shaun Ellis

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIMarch 29, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 27:  Shaun Ellis #92 of the New York Jets in action against the Washington Redskins  during their preseason game on August 27, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium  in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

You know what would really get Rex Ryan and the New York Jets going? If Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots go out into the free-agent market and snag a lifetime Jet. 

Well fans, that scenario is definitely possible, as the Patriots worked out defensive tackle Shaun Ellis this Thursday, according to ESPN Boston

Ellis, a 12-year veteran that has spent his entire career as a member of the Jets, has been able to freely test the free-agent market this offseason. 

Most New England fans are well aware of Ellis, simply because he's been a thorn in the Patriots' side over the years and was a major force in the team's embarrassing playoff defeat against the Jets back in January. 

In that January 16 game, Ellis racked up five tackles and was able to get to Tom Brady on numerous accusations as he brought him down twice for a total of 16 yards. Ellis was without a doubt a dominant factor in the Jets' dominance over the Patriots. 

Ellis has always been a productive defensive tackle, and he's had experience in both the 4-3 and 3-4 defensive alignments. Most recently, in Ryan's 3-4 alignment, Ellis tallied up 36 tackles and five sacks last season for the Jets and has shown signs of still being productive at the age of 34.

Over the course of New England's training camp, there have been several reports that the Patriots have been lining up in a 4-3 defensive front rather than a 3-4 front, but there is no indication that Belichick plans on changing his scheme.

However, some will speculate that Belichick loves to show different variances and feels that with this personnel entering 2011, he could do more things out of a four-man front rather than with three—which makes Ellis an even more intriguing piece to add.

Ellis stands in at 6'5" and weighs 290 lbs., which would appear to be a perfect fit for one of New England's defensive end positions.

The Patriots could enter Week 1 with a starting front of Albert Haynesworth, Vince Wilfork and Ellis—creating one of the league's most experienced lines and quite possibly most dominant forces.

If New England can bring in Ellis on a low-risk contract, then Belichick needs to do so. However, that's only if the Patriots management decides that they liked what they saw from Ellis' recent workout with the team.

We all know that Belichick loves to bring in guys that have given New England trouble in the past, such as Wes Welker and Sammy Morris—Shaun Ellis is certainly a strong candidate to join that group.


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