Nov 30, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is sacked by New England Patriots outside linebacker Akeem Ayers (55) during the first half at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Following the year-ending knee injury (patellar tendon) to linebacker Jerod Mayo, the Patriots chose to trade for former Titans linebacker Akeem Ayers. The decision has worked out well for the Patriots as Ayers has performed admirably in his nine games with the Patriots.
His versatility fits the Patriots’ system well and allows him to fill-in at different positions when required. Bill Belichick loves to move his defenders around, so lining Ayers up at different positions within the defense’s second level has given him the opportunity to really gain experience all over the field. Largely though, Ayers has been employed as a pass-rusher. He’s accumulated four sacks and an interception during his nine games and provided quality depth to the Patriots’ linebacking core.
It’s this versatility and pass-rushing prowess that could attract the Bengals to Ayers. The Bengals have consistently sought versatility in their players, and because they lacked a pass-rush this past year, Ayers could help in that way also.
Ayers performance against the Seahawks could help revitalize his career. As a former second-round selection, much was expected of him coming out of UCLA, but injuries have plagued his career thus far. Ayers can change that come Super Bowl Sunday.