The Patriots continue to bolster their defensive line, adding former Chicago Bear and Houston Texan defensive end Mark Anderson earlier in the week and now agreeing to a one-year deal with from New York Jets defensive lineman Shaun Ellis. Ellis’ deal is pending his passing of a team physical, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 34-year-old defensive lineman has played all along the defensive line in both the 3-4 and the 4-3, making him on of the more versatile defensive linemen on the Patriots’ roster. His flexibility will allow the Pats to do a lot of different things on the field, and will allow the Pats to huddle up and not key off the offense as to what front they’ll be lining up in until they get to the line of scrimmage. The Patriots could also line up with a four-man line and then stand up an end, like Jermain Cunningham, and shift the linemen into a 3-4 look, and vice versa.
Shaun Ellis has been a royal pain in the butt to the Patriots, including sacking Tom Brady twice in last season’s playoff game.
While Ellis is clearly nearing the end of his career, he adds quality depth to the defensive line rotation and the flexibility I discussed earlier. He has shown the ability to rush the passer (4 1/2 sacks last season, 72 1/2 for his career) and is also a solid run-stuffer. While the Jets offered a one-year deal at the veteran minimum, the Pats must have offered some more cash because the deal lengths are the same. Either way, Jets head coach Rex Ryan is not pleased with Ellis’ decision to leave New York:
“The fact that he chose them … there’s no way I’m going to wish him well. There’s no chance of that.”
He also added that he had respect for the type of player Shaun Ellis is, but the previous comment is typical Rex Ryan. I don’t think I’ve heard another coach address a former player like that, and especially not Bill Belichick. Another piece has been added to the Jets/Patriots rivalry puzzle.