Redskins put in a claim for former Panthers, Patriots DE Kony Ealy
By Ian Cummings
Young defensive end Kony Ealy hit the market for a brief spell recently. The Redskins reportedly put in a waiver claim for him, but the Jets got him first.
Although we’ve seen steady improvement from the Redskins’ defensive line this preseason, the coaching staff is apparently still in the market for help. Per ESPN’s John Keim (per Field Yates), the Redskins were one of six teams to put in a claim for Kony Ealy, pursuant to his release from the Patriots.
Despite the waiver claim put forth, the Jets had priority on the waiver order, and so Ealy went to the Big Apple instead. The Jets need all the help they can get to simply win a game this season, and so their move to acquire Ealy makes sense.
The Redskins’ defensive line doesn’t appear to need an added boost at first glance. The unit is flush with young potential and veteran reliability. But look closer, and a motive for the move becomes plausible.
The Redskins know better than anyone what they might get out of young players, and perhaps rushers like Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis, and Terrell McClain aren’t developing as expected in the Redskins’ scheme. Lanier and McClain, in particular, have been predominantly absent this offseason.
The Redskins’ defensive line hasn’t been terrible this preseason, but there’s room for improvement. Jonathan Allen has been a steady piece on the interior, but too often, the line allows the quarterback too much time to throw. That doesn’t bode well for the secondary, and it hurts the defense’s overall chances of making a stop. The addition of Ealy, a growing edge rusher with immense natural talent and potential, would have been a boost, no doubt. Instead, the Redskins will move forward empty handed.
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The Redskins round out the preseason with an away matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on August 31. The starters will likely get this game off, so we won’t get to see the defensive line against a serviceable Buccaneers offensive line. The next time we see Jonathan Allen and Co., it’ll be against the Eagles. Kony Ealy will not be with them. But hopefully, they don’t need him.