The Detroit Lions have been hurting for pass rush help throughout the preseason, and they just had a chance to improve it taken away before they could react. Kony Ealy was talked about as a potential trade target for the Detroit Lions, but after an attempt to feature him for trade didn’t go as planned, the New England Patriots simply waived the former Panthers second-round pick. The New York Jets had an early waiver wire selection and were able to keep him off the market entirely by placing a waiver claim.
New Jets DE Kony Ealy and Sheldon Richardson are cousins and now teammates.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 27, 2017
Kony Ealy is now on his third team in only his fourth season. Drafted in the second round by the Carolina Panthers, big things were expected from Ealy, who put up 13.5 sacks at Missouri including 9.0 as a junior. He was able to put up 14.0 sacks in three seasons, but none of them were particularly notable in terms of overall pass rushing, his best year only saw 5.0 sacks. That would have been good enough for the Detroit Lions, whose pass rush has taken hit after hit. Ezekiel Ansah is still not healthy, Kerry Hyder is lost for the season, and now Jordan Hill is on IR after a strong preseason push.
The New York Jets have made it a habit of picking up the Patriots cast offs, but if any team needed an infusion of talent it was surely them. The Jets recently played the Lions, if you could call it that, in Week 2 of the preseason. Ealy probably wouldn’t have made a difference to that game, but he might help the Jets scratch and claw their way to their sole win or even double their win total to two in 2017.