Defensive end Shaun Ellis is switching sides in one of the NFL’s most intense rivalries.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection from the University of Tennessee signed with the New England Patriots on Monday after 11 seasons with the New York Jets. The Patriots also signed another former first-round draft pick, free agent defensive end Andre Carter, who has played 10 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins.
Ellis, 34, had become the longest-tenured player on the Jets since he was taken 12th overall with a pick that New York obtained as compensation for letting coach Bill Belichick sign with the Patriots. The Jets said this offseason that they wanted him back but offered only the veteran minimum of $910,000.
They used their first two draft picks to bolster their defensive line, taking Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round and Hampton nose tackle Kenrick Ellis two rounds later.
“I’m sad he went there,” Jets linebacker Bart Scott said Monday. “I think he deserved the opportunity to retire as a Jet. It’s one of those weird things. When you hear Shaun Ellis, you associate him with the green and white, but I wish him well and everything other than playing against us.”
Jets coach Rex Ryan wouldn’t go that far.
“The fact that he chose them and all that, like I said before, there’s no way I’m going to wish him well,” Ryan said Sunday. “There’s no chance of that. I wish him to be healthy, but I don’t want him to play that well. I know the way he is, too. He’s going to be revved up, ready to go, and our guys will, too.”
Ellis has 72 1/2 sacks, trailing only Mark Gastineau’s 107 1/2 and Joe Klecko’s 77 1/2 on the Jets’ all-time list; Ellis also holds the franchise record for most playoff games. He told The Associated Press last year that he hoped to play 15 years in the NFL and get 100 sacks.
At Nashville, Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan is saying all the right things after bolting training camp upset over contract talks, and he’s busy apologizing to his bosses, teammates, fans and even the media for leaving camp Friday night.
Finnegan also said Monday he will pay his fine willingly for missing a day of camp. And he admitted he was upset over talks for an extension, which was the personal issue he mentioned defending himself on Twitter on Sunday before returning to work.
“I took negotiations, what they do, personally, and I shouldn’t have, and it affected everyone in the community and the team,” Finnegan said Monday after practice. “I deeply regret that.”
The Titans agreed to terms on a contract with Pat McQuistan, a 6-foot-6, 319-pound offensive lineman entering his sixth season with the NFL. He has played in 56 career games, logging time at every position on the offensive line except center.
McQuistan was a seventh-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2006 draft out of Weber State. He spent four seasons with the Cowboys before moving to Miami, where he made eight starts in 16 games last season.
Sims has appendectomy
At Anderson, Ind., Colts coach Jim Caldwell said linebacker Ernie Sims is expected to miss a couple of weeks after having an appendectomy Sunday night.
Indianapolis signed the 26-year-old free agent to a one-year contract last week. Sims had more than 100 tackles in each of his first three seasons with Detroit, playing in the same defensive system the Colts use. But after a coaching change, his production dropped in 2009 and the Lions wound up trading their first-round pick from 2006 to Philadelphia.
Sims is hoping to revive his career with the Colts by competing for the vacant starting job at weakside linebacker. That position opened up when last year’s starter, Clint Session, signed with Jacksonville.
Haslam out for season
At Jacksonville, Fla., backup offensive lineman Kevin Haslam will be placed on injured reserve after sustaining a knee injury in the Jaguars’ scrimmage Saturday.
Coach Jack Del Rio said Haslam injured the medial collateral ligament and “some other things” in his left knee. Del Rio said “we’re talking months, not days or weeks” before Haslam will be ready to play again.
Haslam was waived/injured Monday but is expected to clear waivers and be placed on IR. The Jaguars also waived rookie guard Troy White and signed rookie offensive lineman Rob McGill, who was cut a day earlier by Atlanta.
Orton lisited No. 1
At Englewood, Colo., the Broncos released their depth chart Monday in advance of their preseason opener at Dallas this week, and there was no change in the order from a year ago at quarterback: 1. Kyle Orton; 2. Tim Tebow; 3. Brady Quinn.