Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Unemployed Ellis could find a gig with Patriots


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Greg Ellis needs a job.

Greg Ellis
Linebacker

2008 STATS
TACK SOLO FF INT SACK
36 25 0 1 8.0

The New England Patriots need a pass-rusher.

Is this an obvious fit, or what?

"That makes perfect sense," said Michael Lombardi, a former NFL personnel executive and columnist for the National Football Post. "An outside pass-rusher is the one area they haven't really addressed."

The Dallas Cowboys released Ellis on Tuesday. He started every game at outside linebacker last year, recording 55 tackles and eight sacks. Ellis made the Pro Bowl two years ago. In 11 seasons as a Cowboys defensive end and outside linebacker he amassed 77 sacks.

The Patriots traded outside linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs and didn't acquire anybody to replace him. Next in line are Pierre Woods and Tully Banta-Cain.

"I think they would like to add that dimension," Lombardi said. "They might be so good on offense, their outside rushers won't need to worry about the run as much. They have to find a way to improve their nickel pass rush."

Ellis, on the downside of this career, will turn 34 in August. But the Patriots have had success rejuvenating older players. They were interested in signing Jason Taylor, who will be 35 in September and is coming off a lackluster season.

"Based on last year, the Cowboys getting rid of [Ellis] would make me concerned," Lombardi said. "Work him out to see where he is health-wise.

"They're going to explore every available player who can rush the passer. I don't know that for a fact, but I would suspect they have to."