Report: Patriots place Kony Ealy on the trade block

Courtesy of Kyle Terada, USA Today Sports

The New England Patriots have explored the trade market for edge rusher Kony Ealy, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Ealy was traded to the Patriots this offseason along with Carolina’s third rounder for New England’s second rounder. Though his numbers dropped off last year, he posted 5.0 sacks with the Panthers.

At age 25, Ealy is still a solid rotational pass rusher. It seems unlikely, however, that the Patriots can get a higher price for Ealy than what they paid. It’s only been a couple months and he’s yet to play a regular season game in New England. The Patriots aren’t the sort of team to take a loss on a player, so a trade would be pretty surprising at this point.

There’s also the issue of depth on the edge. New England lost third-round pick Derek Rivers with a torn ACL and Rob Ninkovich retired. That makes Ealy all the more important.

However, anything could happen, especially with Bill Belichick involved. This situation is certainly one to watch, as the Patriots are usually unafraid to deal.