FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots worked out defensive lineman Shaun Ellis on Thursday, according to a league source. The 12-year veteran is an unrestricted free agent formerly of the Jets.
Ellis is the latest in a string of defensive linemen to visit Foxboro this week; a list that includes Matt Roth, Quentin Moses, Raheem Brock, and, reportedly, Tommie Harris.
The 12th overall pick of the Jets (received from the Patriots as compensation for hiring Bill Belichick as head coach) in 2000, Ellis has spent his entire career in New York. While once a 4-3 defensive tackle, he has played the last several years at defensive end in the 3-4 scheme of current Jets head coach Rex Ryan and former head coach Eric Mangini.
Never playing less than 13 games in any season, Ellis has been a steady contributor for the Jets, tallying 72.5 career sacks. Last season, Ellis recorded 4.5 sacks, plus an additional two sacks against the Patriots in their AFC Divisional Playoff match-up.
At 6-foot-5, 290 pounds, Ellis would appear to fit best at 3-4 defensive end with the Patriots. With proven pass-rushing experience, however, it is possible that Ellis could shift outside to end in the 4-3 scheme that the Patriots have shown early in training camp.
It is also possible that Ellis is being looked at as an interior option in the 4-3 scheme, perhaps in a role similar to that of current Patriots defensive tackle Mike Wright.
According to ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini, the Jets have made Ellis a one-year offer to return to New York at the veteran minimum salary of $910,000.