The best way to get over it came in the form of a four-hour ride to the northeast, where the Patriots were more than willing to accept his services. Ellis didn't take any direct shots at the Jets or head coach Rex Ryan, who gave him a verbal boot out the door Sunday, but the 34-year-old did hit them with a subtle jab.
"I don't have [a Super Bowl ring], and I want to get one before it's all said and done," Ellis said Monday. "This is the best opportunity for me to do it, and I joined and I'm ready to get in line with the rest of the guys and play my role."
Obviously, Ellis wouldn't sign with the Patriots and then call them an inferior team to the Jets, but it was fairly surprising to hear him come right out and say the Pats are a more serious contender. Those comments probably didn't take too much time to circulate through the Jets' camp.
Ellis also said New England "feels like home," which was a funny thing to hear from a guy who noted he "built up a little kind of hatred toward the Patriots" over the last 11 years.
But again, when his new team outbids his old team by a reported $4 million, the comments can be very understandable. The Jets offered him the veteran minimum of $910,000, while the Patriots could pay him as much as $5 million if he reaches his incentives, according to multiple reports.
Ellis said he was disappointed with the way things went down in New York.
"When you look at it that away from an emotional standpoint, yeah it was [disappointing]," Ellis said. "But you have to look at it as a business as well. They have a choice of going after the guys they feel like they need or they want to surround their team around, and I just wasn't in their plan. I'm a Patriot now, I'm part of this plan and I'm going to go out there and play my best."
As for his feelings toward Ryan, well, Ellis took the high road when asked if he wished him well.
"I do," Ellis said. "I have a lot of respect for the guy. Obviously, it seems like it's not mutual, but I respect him."
Ellis watched Monday's practice from the sideline, and he said he'd participate "soon." As of Monday afternoon, he hadn't yet attempted the team's conditioning run, and it sounds like the Patriots are working to get him into shape before he hits the field.
He can fill a number of roles, playing inside in the 4-3 and at defensive end in the 3-4. Ellis said he has played in at least six defensive systems and, while he is more comfortable in the 4-3 — really, every defensive lineman on the planet says they're more comfortable in the 4-3, though — he would be happy playing in any capacity, especially if it means sticking it to the Jets.
"[Playing] against the Jets, yeah, that puts a little bit of icing on the cake," Ellis said. "But overall, the goal, does it make the season? No, it doesn't. So for us it's one game at a time, and try to get to the ultimate prize at the end."
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