The Jets have not had good luck picking up players discarded by the Patriots in recent years, but they grabbed another one Sunday.
The Jets claimed defensive end Kony Ealy off waivers a day after the Patriots cut him, a source confirmed. Ealy joined the Patriots in March in a trade from the Panthers. New England sent its second-round pick to Carolina in exchange for Ealy and a third-round selection. But Ealy was not a fit in New England, and Bill Belichick cut him loose.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Ealy is best known for his Super Bowl 50 performance with the Panthers. He had three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in the loss to the Broncos. That was only 18 months ago, but Ealy is now joining his third team.
It is a bit of a peculiar move for the Jets, whose one strength is along the defensive line. How will Ealy fit in with Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams and Sheldon Richardson? The Jets may try to move Ealy outside and get a pass rush from him there, which they desperately need. It also could be a one-week tryout to see if they want to hold onto him or move on quickly.
Ealy and Richardson know each other well. They are cousins and played together in college at Missouri.