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Patriots Add Depth to DE With Trade for Carolina's Kony Ealy

Patriots Add Depth to DE With Trade for Carolina's Kony Ealy”

The Patriots will send their second-round pick to Carolina, while the Panthers will also send their third-round pick to New England.

The Carolina Panthers on Friday traded defensive end Kony Ealy and a third-round pick to New England in exchange for the Patriots' second-round pick, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Ealy's best game came in Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos following the 2015 season.

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The 6-foot-4, 274-pound Ealy has played in the National Football League for three years, all with Carolina.

For the Patriots, they move down eight spots in the 2017 NFL Draft and get a look at a young pass rusher who could fulfill his potential with one year remaining on his rookie deal.

Ealy was a second-round pick out of Missouri in 2014, and the 25-year-old has registered 14 sacks and six forced fumbles over his first three seasons in the NFL.

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New England drops from the 64th to 72nd overall selection in the draft with the deal. They get Ealy and only move down 8 spots from the #64 to the #72 pick in the third round.

Ealy became expendable when the Panthers re-acquired defensive end/outside linebacker Julius Peppers, who played the last three seasons for the Green Bay Packers. He's coming off a 2016 campaign that saw him record 32 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles.

The team's other reserve, Jabaal Sheard, is an unrestricted free agent who appears interested in a fresh start elsewhere (he visited Miami and is scheduled to meet Indianapolis).

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