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Patriots gauging trade market for Kony Ealy

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Back in March, the Patriots went out of their way to swing a trade for defensive end Kony Ealy.

Five months later, he's back on the block.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Friday that the team has "gauged" Ealy's market, according to sources informed of the situation.

It's not a huge surprise. The former Panthers D-lineman has struggled to fit in with the Patriots, spending much of camp "working mostly with the backups and end-of-roster players," per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Pelissero noted Ealy has "started to settle in lately," but the 2014 second-rounder has hardly staked claim to the end spot previously manned by Rob Ninkovich, who recently retired.

Set to land on his third team if a trade goes down, Ealy wouldn't net much for the Patriots in a trade. Still, it certainly gives New England faithful a player to watch closely in Friday night's regular-season dress rehearsal with the Lions.

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