The Patriots' 2011 NFL free agency strategy — acquiring old players who may be beginning declines — has reared its head again. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Patriots will sign defensive tackle Shaun Ellis, long a member of the New York Jets, pending his passage of a physical.
Ellis has spent all 12 of his NFL seasons to this point with the New York Jets, starting 13 or more games in 11 of them, and has accrued 72.5 sacks in his career as a pass-rushing interior lineman. Ellis also had two sacks in the Jets' 28-21 upset of the Patriots in the 2010 playoffs, so signing him away from New York should give the Patriots at least one less headache on Rex Ryan's defense to deal with.
Of course, it's also not beyond the scope of reason to think that Bill Belichick just might be inking Ellis to get a little more insight on the Jets' scheme.
For more on NFL free agency, check out SB Nation's comprehensive 2011 NFL free agency section. For more on the Lions, visit SB Nation Boston and Pats Pulpit.