Photo credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
While many teams are trying to sign NFL free agents to bolster their roster the New England Patriots had other plans. The Patriots started their 2nd day of NFL free agency off with a trade for Carolina Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy. Kony Ealy is 25 years old and entering his prime in the National Football League, Ealy has also recorded 14 sacks and 76 tackles over the past 3 seasons. Bill Belichick knew that Ealy could come in and help minimize the losses of Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long. What makes this deal so special is the fact that the Patriots only had to move back 8 spots to get Ealy. The Patriots traded a 2nd round pick to the Panthers in exchange for Ealy and a 3rd round pick. It’s move like these that help New England stay on top and you almost wonder how Belichick goes about proposing these offers? Often times we see New England involved in trades that are lopsided in the Patriots favor. Yet these opposing teams keep being had by the Patriots and this is just another sweet deal for New England. Ealy should benefit from being in a better system and that means those 5 sacks he had last year could easily become 7 or 9 sacks. This was a much better deal for New England than Carolina but maybe the Panthers were just ready to move on from Kony Ealy for whatever reason. Still the Patriots walk way the winners here.
The Patriots dominated NFL free agency a month after winning the Super Bowl:
The Patriots weren’t satisfied with just the Kony Ealy deal either, a few hours after trading for the Panthers defensive end the Patriots made a trade to give their offense a spark. The Patriots shipped a 1st round pick (32nd overall) and 3rd round pick in exchange for Brandin Cooks and a 4th round pick. The negotiations in this deal have been going on for about a month now but one topic that was frequently discussed is whether or not New England would be willing to give up Malcolm Butler. Ultimately New England didn’t want to do that but they still had to give up their 1st round pick in order to make the deal happen. While New England won’t be drafting in the 1st round this year the 32nd overall pick they shipped to New Orleans was the last pick in the 1st round and is basically an early 2nd round pick. The Patriots didn’t like the value of that draft position and it’s clear they thought they would get much more out of Brandin Cooks next season. Truthfully the Patriots are right in these circumstance and now they are clearly the favorite to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. Cooks will come in and give this team an immediate boost offensively and he should pair well with 5 time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady. Two solid moves in one day for the New England Patriots.
For more on NFL free agency check out-http://endzoneblog.com/packers-need-better-job-nfl-free-agency-ted-thompsons-lack-maneuvering-cost-packers-playoff-wins/
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