The New England Patriots are acquiring a former second-round draft pick to fill their void at linebacker.
The Patriots are trading for Tennessee Titans linebacker Akeem Ayers, Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt confirmed Tuesday night.
Ayers, a fourth-year pro out of UCLA, has played in just two games for the Titans this season as they’ve switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense. He was a starting strong-side linebacker for the Titans from 2011 to 2013, recording 229 tackles and nine sacks.
The Patriots are trading a sixth-round pick to the Titans for Ayers and a seventh-round pick, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported.
The Patriots desperately needed depth at linebacker after starter Jerod Mayo was lost for the season with a torn patellar tendon.
Ayers could be inserted as a starter in the Patriots’ base defense. The 6-foot-2, 254-pound linebacker is strong against the run and as a pass rusher, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics.
Ayers underwent two surgeries over the offseason to repair his patellar tendons in both knees. Ayers said both were “cleaned and repaired.” If his knees don’t look healthy, the Patriots can fail his physical and void the trade. It’s a no-risk move that could pay dividends for the Patriots as the season progresses.
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