NFL Rumors: Nate Ebner To Leave Patriots, Reunite With Ex-New England Coach

Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but a Patriots free agent has decided to join a team with a coach who has ties to Foxboro.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Thursday reported special teams ace/occasional safety Nate Ebner has decided to join the New York Giants in free agency.

The Giants, of course, are set to enter their first season under head coach Joe Judge, who’d been a special teams coach in New England dating back to 2012, the same year Ebner was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round.

Although Ebner’s departure surely will be felt in Foxboro, New England’s special teams unit still is poised to be in fairly good shape. The franchise was able to retain Matthew Slater via a two-year extension, and fellow special-teams stud Justin Bethel also will be returning in 2020.

While Ebner serves as the first noteworthy Patriots free agent to join the Giants, Bill Belichick’s other disciples seemingly have been hoarding players coming out of New England. The Brian Flores-coached Miami Dolphins reportedly have added Kyle Van Noy, Ted Karras and Elandan Roberts, while Matt Patricia’s Detroit Lions reportedly landed Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton in addition to a trade for Duron Harmon.

More Patriots: Assessing New England’s Biggest Needs After Latest Free-Agent Signings

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