The New York Jets claimed former New England Patriots EDGE Kony Ealy off waivers amidst reports that numerous teams expressed interest in grabbing the near-Super Bowl 50 MVP. According to Buffalo News’ Kimberley Martin, there were seven teams to put in a claim on Ealy.
For those wondering if #Bills put in a claim for Kony Ealy -- they didn't.— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_BN) August 28, 2017
ARIZ, WAS, DET, TB, DAL, NYG + NYJ all put in claims.
The Arizona Cardinals, Washington, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and the Jets showed interest, with the Jets curiously being the only team in the AFC to put in a claim.
I’m actually curious about these teams putting in waiver claims because they’re supposed to be deep at the pass rushing position.
- The Cardinals have mega-millions EDGE Chandler Jones, along with Markus Golden, who notched 12.5 sacks in 2016, former 2013 first round EDGE Jarvis Jones, and 2014 EDGE Kareem Martin.
- Washington invested a 2015 second round pick in Preston Smith and a 2017 second round draft pick in Ryan Anderson, in addition to Pro Bowl EDGE Ryan Kerrigan and the expected return of Junior Gallette.
- The Lions have three pass rushers that might not make the team and could probably interest the Patriots, so they are also young and talented at the position, in addition to EDGE Ziggy Ansah.
- The Buccaneers have Robert Ayers and William Gholston on long term deals and drafted Noah Spence in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
- The Cowboys have 2017 first round EDGE Taco Charlton to go with Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence. It seems like all their other pass rushers are suspended.
- The Giants have Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul on huge contract extensions, but little depth behind them.
- The Jets are the Jets.
So while teams like the Jets and Giants make sense to show interest in Ealy, it’s hard to see how Ealy either makes the other depth charts, or at what expense if he makes the team.
It’s also important to note that that claiming Ealy is no guarantee than he makes the active roster. Teams might have simply wanted to give a player of talent a one-week tryout to see if he could serve as a marginal improvement over another player on the roster.
But the fact that all of these teams expressed interest, despite their apparently deeper-than-the-Patriots depth chart at pass rusher, could imply that the Patriots will find talent after roster cuts that could improve the roster.