If you can’t beat them, have them join you. It last worked with Wes Welker, who perennially made fools out of Patriot cornerbacks, coming over from the Miami Dolphins in a trade.
This time, it involves another division rival that has given the Patriots fits over the last decade. Shaun Ellis, he of two sacks in the Patriots playoff loss against the Jets, has signed a one-year deal (pending a physical) to join Bill Belichick in New England.
Ellis (6-5/290), who was acquired with a 1st-round pick given to the Jets by the Patriots as compensation for Coach Belichick, has totaled 72.5 sacks in his 11-year career.
The former Tennessee Volunteer joins teammate then and now Albert Haynesworth on a line that can now effectively play in both three and four-man fronts.
We’d expect Ellis to line up as an end when New England plays the 3-4, while shifting inside in a 3-man rotation with Vince Wilfork and Albert Haynesworth when in a 4-3. Wilfork would presumably be the odd man out on passing downs.
Ellis could certainly play 4-3 end in a pinch as well.
With Ellis now in the fold, veterans Ron Brace, Mike Wright, Myron Pryor, Brandon Deaderick, and more all have one less roster spot to be fighting for.