The New England Patriots have added more depth to the defensive end position. According to a report by ESPN Tuesday, the Patriots and Green Bay Packers have agreed on a trade involving former second-round draft pick Jerel Worthy. The trade was first announced Tuesday evening by Worthy’s agent and is contingent on him passing his physical.
If Worthy passes his physical, the Packers will receive a future Patriots draft pick. They will only receive that draft pick if Worthy is able to make the team. The product of Michigan State was the No. 51 overall pick in the 2012 draft, but health has stalled his NFL career so far. His talent is undeniable, but after blowing out his knee in the regular-season finale of his rookie season, Worthy has been unable to get back on the field. He did play the final three games of the 2013 season, but has so far been inactive in training camp activities.
Worthy is also dealing with a back injury, but insists he is feeling great physically. He addressed reporters in the Packers’ locker room before the trade on Tuesday. He said, “I’m just waiting for the green light. I feel really great. I’ve done everything that I can possibly do with the training staff and with the strength and conditioning guys. They’ve done a great job of prepping me for this moment. At the end of the day, it’s just a day-to-day thing. I said it last week, that I’m just waiting for my moment.”
If that moment is to come, it will have to come with the Patriots or another team if he is not able to make the roster. The acquisition will add depth at defensive end and could also speak a lot to the team’s confidence in veteran pass rusher Will Smith, who is also recovering from ACL surgery. The trade could pay off for the Patriots if they indeed get a healthy Jerel Worthy. If he doesn’t work out, the team loses nothing. It could turn out to be a wise move for Bill Belichick.