New England Patriots to cut ties with DE Kony Ealy


The Kony Ealy era will surely be forgotten in New England Patriots history, as he wasn’t even able to last through the preseason.

The New England Patriots have officially released defensive end Kony Ealy after acquiring him earlier this offseason.

Ealy was sent to New England from Carolina in exchange for a second-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft. The Patriots also received a third-round pick in the Draft.

Ealy was apparently just not a fit in New England, even with the retirement of Rob Ninkovich and injury of Derek Rivers. Head coach Bill Belichick noted that it wasn’t for a lack of effort on either side. 

"“I just think it’s one of those things that didn’t work out or wasn’t going to work out. Nobody’s fault. He worked hard. We worked hard. A lot of effort put in, but in the end, we didn’t feel like this was going to work out. It gives him an opportunity about a week ahead of next week to hopefully create a better opportunity for himself. I think he deserved that. He did everything we asked him to do. It just didn’t work out for either one of us like we hoped it would.”"

Rumors had already been swirling that the Patriots were looking to move on from Ealy, and that they were looking for trade partners. The market for Ealy must have been very quiet for them to already release him.

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Trey Flowers is clearly the top defensive end on the New England Patriots roster, but questions still remain behind him. New England could role with Geneo Grissom and Lawrence Guy. The team also has rookie Deatrich Wise, who they’re being cautious with after a head injury a few weeks ago. Behind Wise the options are undrafted rookie free agents Caleb Kidder and Kieonta Davis.

The Patriots could also look to make a trade or sign a remaining free agent to help on the edge. Dwight Freeney, Mario Williams, Trent Cole, Jared Odrick, and Paul Kruger are all still unsigned. Odrick even had a meeting in Foxboro earlier this season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s signed in the next few days. The rest of those free agents are getting up there in age, but they may be able to help in a small rotational role.

Next: Austin Carr should make the Week 1 roster

No matter what happens going forward, the Patriots will have to work hard to find their production on the edge. They’ll open the season on September 7th as they reveal their Super Bowl LI banner against the Kansas City Chiefs.