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Report: Patriots release DE Kony Ealy

Courtesy of Kyle Terada, USA Today Sports

Mere months after trading for him, the New England Patriots have released defensive end Kony Ealy.

It’s a somewhat surprising move given that New England lost Rob Ninkovich to retirement and saw rookie third-round pick Derek Rivers go down with a torn ACL earlier in the month.

Ealy, 25, was acquired a long with a third-round pick from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a second-round pick back in March. He’s recorded 14 sacks in three NFL seasons and made his name known by taking down Peyton Manning to the tune of three sacks in Super Bowl 50.

For the Patriots, it’s now pretty evident that they’ll either look at the free agent market or the trade block for another pass rusher. It’s increasingly becoming a position of weakness for the defending champs.