Once the Patriots were outbid for slot man Adam Humphries, they turned to lower-cost flyers on Ellington and Maurice Harris ($90,000 guaranteed). Ellington, who the 49ers took in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, hauled in 31 passes for 224 yards and a TD in seven 2018 games (four with the Lions and three with the Texans). If the 5-foot-9, 200-pounder can stay healthy, he can push for a slot role behind Julian Edelman, as well as potentially help out in the return game. Given the terms of his new deal, Ellington isn't a lock to make the team, but his experience playing under Bill O'Brien with Houston and Matt Patricia with Detroit (a pair of coaches with previous ties to the Patriots) should give the 27-year-old a bit of a leg up in terms of familiarity with his new team's system.
The Patriots are plenty familiar with Ellington's game considering the Super Bowl champs played his team three times over the course of the past two seasons -- and the slot receiver snagged 12 passes for 189 yards and two scores in those games. However, it's not clear if this same sort of role awaits him in New England, given the presence of PPR-maven Julian Edelman. Ellington will have to compete for touches in the team's offense with the likes of Phillip Dorsett, Maurice Harris, Braxton Berrios and Damoun Patterson.
Ellington (hamstring) was released by the Lions on Friday, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports.
Ellington caught on with Detroit late in the 2018 season, catching 23 of 30 targets for 132 yards in four games before a hamstring injury sent him to injured reserve. He's proven to be a competent slot receiver on a few different occasions, but persistent hamstring issues have kept him off the field for most of his pro career. Regardless of where he ends up, Ellington figures to enter training camp on the roster bubble.
Ellington (hamstring) can become an unrestricted free agent in March, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.
The 2014 fourth-round pick has bounced from San Francisco to Houston to Detroit, seemingly losing jobs because of his persistent hamstring injuries rather than his performance. Ellington said he wants to return to Detroit after catching 23 of 30 targets for 132 yards in four games with the Lions late in the 2018 campaign. He doesn't figure to command a particularly large contract, given that he finished the season on injured reserve with yet another hammy injury. Ellington will turn 28 in August and hasn't shown much ability to contribute outside of the slot.
Ellington (hamstring) was placed on injured reserve Saturday.
Ellington was already ruled out for Sunday's game against the Vikings, which was set to be his second straight absence. The 27-year-old was a limited practice participant both weeks, making the move somewhat surprising. Regardless, Ellington will finish the 2018 season with 31 receptions for 224 yards and one touchdown over seven games between the Texans and Lions. Chris Lacy was signed to bolster Detroit's depth at wide receiver, though Andy Jones should again be the biggest benefactor of his absence.
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||13||0||6||62||10.3||20||2||1||0||5|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||13||0||13||153||11.8||44||0||3||1||4|
|2016||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||13||0||6||28||4.7||15||1||0||2|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||13||0||1||7||7.0||7||0||0||0|
|2016||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||13||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||13||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2016||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||13||24||614||25.6||38||0||0|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||13||26||665||25.6||40||0||1|
|2016||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||13||23||12||188||8.2||23||0||3|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||13||19||17||137||7.2||36||0||2|
|2016||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||13||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||13||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||1|
|2016||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||13||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||13||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||San Francisco 49ers||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|