The Patriots are taking things seriously with its defense. They have agreed to terms with New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis, according to a league source.
The deal is based on Ellis, who is in 12th season, passing his physical. The Patriots are off today, so his first day to officially practice would be tomorrow.
Ellis was one of a few defensive linemen who worked out for the Patriots last week. The Patriots signed former Chicago Bears defensive end Mark Anderson on Friday and now add Ellis.
Ellis is 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds with a versatile background that would give Bill Belichick a few more options, especially if the Patriots lean more on the 4-3 this year. Last season he collected 36 tackles and 4.5 sacks.The 34-year old has 499 total tackles and 72.5 sacks in his career and has played his entire career with the Jets.
As a result, he is more than familiar with the Patriots and has given them a fair share of challenges in past match ups. In the AFC Divisional playoff game last season, it was Ellis (No. 92) who sacked Tom Brady twice in the 28-21 win and collected five tackles.
Just as a note, Ellis ended up with the Jets courtesy of a first-round pick the Patriots gave the team in 2000. Bill Belichick left the Jets for New England and as compensation, the Patriots gave the Jets a first-round pick. The Jets used that pick on Ellis.
Analysis: Ellis has line versatility but expect him to make his biggest impact in subpackages at defensive tackle in a rotation with Vince Wilfork and Albert Haynesworth. Ellis killed the Patriots in the first and third matchups last year, and they often doubled him in the second game. He is an outstanding guy in the locker room. Ellis give the Patriots another player who can beat the guy in front of them one-on-one, and without the benefit of scheme. The Patriots did not have enough of those players last year. Good signing. - Greg Bedard