Kony Ealy Released by Patriots After Trading for DE in March

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2017

New England Patriots defensive end Kony Ealy talks with reporters following NFL football training camp, Friday, July 28, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The New England Patriots announced Saturday they have released defensive end Kony Ealy.

Mike Garafolo of NFL.com first reported the news. 

Garafolo added that the Patriots "tried him in their scheme" but Kony wasn't "a similar style to [Rob] Ninkovich so it didn't work out."

The news follows a report from Tom Pelissero of NFL.com on Friday that the Patriots had "gauged trade market for him." Apparently, they received little interest in the 25-year-old defensive end and decided to cut him instead.

And as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com added: "Ominous signs last night when first play came in the third quarter with 12:57 left."

Thus ends Ealy's incredibly brief tenure in New England. The Patriots traded for Ealy in March, sending a second-round pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the defensive end and a third-round pick. Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report suggested that cutting ties with Ealy now was a smart decision, however: 

Mike Tanier @MikeTanier

The #Patriots made a mistake trading for Ealy. Most other franchises would have compounded the mistake by playing him to justify the trade.

Ealy has offered inconsistent production since he joined the league in 2014, when the Panthers selected him in the second round of the draft. In three NFL seasons, he's registered 76 combined tackles, 14 sacks and six forced fumbles. Given his potential, he may quickly find himself picked up by another team who feels he better fits its scheme.

Still, potential suitors will also consider the fact that Ealy has both been traded and released within a relatively short time span.


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