Mike Garafolo reports that the Patriots are placing DE Kony Ealy on waivers Saturday after it became clear that he didn’t fit their defensive scheme.
Yesterday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reported that the Patriots have gauged the trade market for Ealy.
The Patriots acquired Ealy and a 2017 third-round pick from the Panthers in exchange for a second-round pick back in March. It is unlikely for a team to release a player in such a brief amount of time after trading away a high-round draft pick.
Ealy, 25, is a former second-round pick of the Panthers back in 2014. He’s currently in the third year of his four-year, $3.546 million contract that included $1.249 million guaranteed and stands to make a base salary of $803,660 for the 2017 season.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing Ealy would free up $903,660 of available cap space while creating no dead money. They would save the same amount by trading him.
In 2016, Ealy appeared in all 16 games for the Panthers and recorded 32 tackles, five sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and three pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 79 edge rusher out of 109 qualifying players.