The New England Patriots organization has been a model of stability throughout the NFL for the better part of the past two decades. Beginning with the reported departure of QB Tom Brady to Tampa Bay, the six-time Super Bowl champions are in the midst of an unprecedented offseason.
Between the start of the league’s legal tampering window on Monday and the official opening of free agency on Wednesday, New England has seen more than half a dozen free agents leave for franchises now led by former Bill Belichick proteges – Brian Flores and the Miami Dolphins, Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions and Joe Judge and the New York Giants.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Patriots are set to lose yet another key contributor to a former Belichick staffer turned head coach. This time its special teams ace and safety Nate Ebner, who is set to head down I-95 and join forces with the Giants.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Ebner has previously spent his entire eight-year career in New England. The 31-year-old grew up in the Patriots system under now-Giants head coach Joe Judge, who also joined on as a special teams assistant in 2012.
Originally drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round (No. 197) of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Ohio State product is a three-time Super Bowl champion with 111 games of regular season experience. Ebner has recorded 95 total tackles to date in spot defensive duty, but makes his greatest impact in the third phase of the game.
Aside from being a strong locker room precense, the 6’0,” 215-pound hybrid is also a renowned rugby sevens player and 2016 Olympian for Team USA Rugby.
Flores, Patricia and Judge Open Patriots Pipeline
As previously noted, Ebner will soon join the laundry list of players moving on to Miami, Detroit and now New York, thanks in part to ties with former Patriots coaches and coordinators. This imminent signing marks the seventh instance in the past few days – six via free agency and one via trade, as NESN’s Zack Cox highlighted on Twitter:
Here are the terms of the agreed-upon deals so far:
LB Kyle Van Noy: four years, $51 million
C Ted Karras: one year, $4 million
LB Elandon Roberts: not yet disclosed
LB Jamie Collins: three years, $30 million
DT Danny Shelton: two years, $8 million
ST/S Nate Ebner: not yet disclosed
As a result of the Duron Harmon trade compensation, the Patriots now possess 12 picks heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, half of which come in Round 6 or later.
For more NFL updates, follow Chris Licata on Twitter: @Chris__Licata