Who won the Kony Ealy trade?

Mar 11, 2017, 00:42
Who won the Kony Ealy trade?

New England already signed former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a massive contract, and has been hot on the rumor mill for Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

The Carolina Panthers confirmed they are trading defensive end Kony Ealy and a third-round pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a second-round pick Friday, according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press. But an eight-spot slide in the draft and a base salary of $803,660 is a minimal cost to the Patriots, even if that turns out to be the case. The 6'4, 275-pound Ealy was a top performer in the 3-Cone Drill during the Combine that year.

In 2015, he recorded five sacks but was unblockable in the Super Bowl loss to the Broncos.

Ealy, 25, was a second-round pick by the Panthers in 2014 and has 14 career sacks in three seasons. The third-round pick going to the Patriots is No. 72 overall.

But he started just six games in 2016 and only tallied five sacks, failing to reach what looked like it may have been a big year on the way for the young defensive end. The Patriots could still add another pass rusher in the draft or in free agency, but Ealy certainly helps fill a need on the Patriots edge and is a flawless fit for the Patriots 4-tech defensive lineman role in the 5-man front, allowing Flowers to possibly take on a more aggressive pass rushing role.

Coming into the offseason, the Patriots had a lot of question marks due to how many free agents they had.