Patriots trade for Panthers DE Kony Ealy

Patriots trade for Panthers DE Kony Ealy

The Patriots have traded for Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy, CSNNE's Tom E. Curran has confirmed. The trade was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

The swap is an interesting one, as the Patriots will send their second-round pick (No. 64 overall) to Carolina for Ealy and the Panthers’ third-round pick, which is No. 72 overall. That means the Patriots are barely moving down in the draft and picking up Ealy, the 60th pick in the 2014 draft, in the process. 

A 6-foot-4, 275 defensive end out of Missouri, Ealy has played in all 16 games of each of the last two seasons after missing one game as a rookie in 2014. He had four sacks as a rookie and had five in both 2015 and 2016. 

Ealy took the spotlight in Super Bowl 50, absolutely terrorizing Peyton Manning. He sacked Manning three times, intercepted him and forced him to fumble on a fourth-quarter strip sack.

Ahead of Super Bowl LI, Ealy picked the Patriots to beat the Falcons, saying you can't doubt Tom Brady in a big game. 

The addition of Ealy helps the Patriots reload at a position that will lose at least Chris Long in free agency. Long announced ahead of free agency that he would not return to New England, while Jabaal Sheard is also a free agent. 

As Phil Perry notes, Ealy was selected just before a certain high-profile Patriot, one who's been the subject of plenty of trade rumors. 

Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

In an interview with The Big Lead, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long spoke on the drama surrounding Tom Brady and Bill Belichick

It's safe to say he doesn't put much stock into it

I just think any NFL team, any NFL locker room under a lot of stress over a year period, there are going to be storylines people can choose to kind of blow out of proportion or not pay attention to. I think everyone’s going to pay attention to sometimes really small issues. Whatever people are alluding to going on up there hasn’t affected their play, it hasn’t affected their bottom line. It hasn’t affected how they executed on Sundays. 

Long played with the Patriots during the 2016 season and won Super Bowl 51 with them before signing a two-year contract with the Eagles. The Eagles then went on to beat New England in Super Bowl 52. If anyone outside of the Patriots' locker room has an idea of the culture inside the past two years, Long has to be one of them. 

It took everything for us to beat them. It took a heroic performance by Nick Foles and we had to play our best game. So while everybody likes to always point to the Patriots as being under duress or there’s some drama in the locker room, there’s drama in every locker room that you could blow out of proportion. They’re just on top and those stories sell because they’ve been so great.

ESPN's Seth Wickersham released a story detailing some of the issues that arose in New England over the past few years in January, and with Brady missing almost all of the Patriots' voluntary workouts last month, some have started to wonder whether this is the end for one of both of Brady-Belichick. 

While their hasn't been much public acknowledgement from either side about the drama, but Long certainly doesn't see much substance to the noise. 



Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction draws response from Tom Brady

Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction draws response from Tom Brady

Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction of the Jacksonville Jaguars taking over the AFC title from the Patriots and facing the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta in SB53 drew a response from Tom Brady on Instagram.

The NFL's official Instagram account posted a photo of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey with the prediction of Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys QB now the analyst on CBS' No. 1 NFL broadcast team. Here's a screenshot, complete with Brady's comment:

Appearing on the NFL Network earlier this week, Romo said rumors of a rift between Brady and coach Bill Belichick are overblown. “I think they probably squabble just like any married couple for 20 years, and then they also love each other.

“I just think when you work together for 15 to 20 years, whatever it is, I think that whenever you have the success that they have, people have to come up with stuff,” Romo said. “I also think that I’ve been upset with my coaches before, and then you come back and you’re fine. And then you get upset with them, and you come back and you’re fine. It’s a part of sports.”

Brady and the Patriots report to camp on July 26.