When so many of your former assistants are head coaches, it's only natural that those coaches poach your former players.

That trend will continue, as former New England Patriots safety/special teams ace Nate Ebner is set to sign with the New York Giants in free agency, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday morning.

It's a natural fit for Ebner, as Giants head coach Joe Judge was his special teams coach for eight seasons in New England.

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Both Ebner and Judge came to the Patriots in 2012 -- Ebner as a sixth-round pick out of Ohio State -- and Judge was promoted from special teams assistant to special teams coordinator in Ebner's third season.

Ebner will be missed as one of New England's core special teamers; he was a second-team All-Pro in 2016 and a sturdy special teams presence who helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls.

The 31-year-old also is a star rugby player who competed for Team USA's rugby sevens squad at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.