FLORHAM PARK, NJ — The story broke last week that the longest tenured New York Jet, Shaun Ellis at 11 years with the team, visited Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots about the possibility of signing with his former arch rival. The team offered Ellis a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum of roughly$910,000. According to sources via ESPN’s John Clayton, the Patriots have signed Ellis to a one-year deal at $4 million with about $1 million in incentives.
As it stands right now Ellis, 34, is making more than Giants DE Osi Umenyiora.
“The fact that he chose [the Patriots], there’s no way I’m going to wish him well,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said on Sunday. “There’s no chance of that. I wish him to be healthy, but I don’t want him to play well. He’s gong to be revved up, ready to go. So it’ll be fun going against him. I’ve got a great deal of respect for Shaun.”
The coupling of Ellis and Belichick in New England is poetic justice for two men who’s careers have been juxtaposed by the actions of the Patriots head coach. After the announcement of former Jets head coach Bill Parcells’ retirement, Parcells had left the keys of the Jets castle to his predecessor Belichick. But a day into his Jets tenure, he quit, scribbling on a piece of loose leaf “I resign as HC from the NYJ” just minutes before his first press conference on the job. He then spent the next 30 minutes explaining the decision to a room full of the New York media. Soon after, he was introduced by owner Robert Kraft as the new head coach of the Patriots. Parcells, a former Patriots coach, and the Jets claimed that, with Belichick still under contract to the Jets, were due some sort of compensation for their loss. Then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue agreed. In exchange for their future Super Bowl winning coach, the Jets were given the 12th overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft.
The selection turned out to be Tennessee defensive end Shaun Ellis. He was a standout his rookie year, recording 8 sacks. Only Hugh Douglas has recorded more sacks (10) during his rookie campaign. For his 11-year career, Ellis has recorded 72 sacks and forced 13 fumbles on his way to being named to the Pro Bowl twice (2003, 2009).
Ellis’ paralleled life with Belichick met on a collision-course in the AFC Divisional round of the 2010 NFL playoffs, where Ellis may have had the best game of his career. He sacked Patriots QB Tom Brady twice, but added constant pressure, disrupting the timing of many routes.
Now with Ellis in a Patriots uniform, Belichick can focus on the other problems the Jets present other than the worrying about the troublesome Big Katt.
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